Sunday, July 18, 2010

Evolution is a Scientific Fact: Day 74

Evolutionists have little doubt about their idea. Indeed they consistently claim it to be an undeniable scientific fact. As one textbook explained, “The term theory is no longer appropriate except when referring to the various models that attempt to explain how life evolves … it is important to understand that the current questions about how life evolves in no way implies any disagreement over the fact of evolution.” I was trying to explain this fact when I discovered I couldn’t. Quite the opposite, there are substantial scientific problems with evolution. My proposition to evolutionists is that I will help their cause if they will help me understand. I will be an evolutionist if they can explain why it is a scientific fact.

Many evolutionists have responded to my proposition, but their comments make me wonder. One criticized me for not offering an alternative while others blamed me for bias in my beliefs. Another said my purpose is to drive creation/ID and another said I am a Biblical fundamentalist. Yet another said that my basic complaint is that science refuses to work on the assumption that maybe things were magicked into existence. Aside from being false, the main problem with such comments is they leave me no closer to the fact of evolution.

Another evolutionist explained the intellectual necessity of Darwin’s idea:

Science stops when we use the “God made the mosquito” assumption. There’s nothing to be done and nothing more to learn about our universe or ourselves: save listening to the people who believe they have cornered the truth. This critique of evolution is not an effort to further understanding, but to halt it.

This is certainly a popular mandate for evolution, but it hardly makes it a scientific fact. Another argued for why evolution is better than creation or design:

The argument is that evolution—common descent with gradual, opportunistic modification—would produce such effects, and we have no good reason to suppose that a Designer of life—supernatural or otherwise—would choose to do so.

It is another popular argument but, again, it does little to explain why evolution is a scientific fact. Another evolutionist argued that virtually everyone educated accepted descent with modification within a decade or two of the Origin. But given Darwin’s reasoning and the limited state of nineteenth century biology, this point raises more questions than answers about the claim that evolution is a scientific fact.

He further criticized me for ignoring the overwhelming statistical confirmations of common ancestry:

The odds of e.g. morphological and molecular phylogenies agreeing as much as they do (there are sometimes disagreements, but they are statistically minor, at least if you are open-minded enough to actually learn about the relevant statistics, and not just quote mine from people who don’t) are miniscule. The fossil record shows similar statistical agreement. Etc.

But if the disagreements are not statistically significant, they certainly are biologically significant. Massive similarities and differences show up where they shouldn’t be. Perhaps evolution somehow constructed such contradictions, but from a scientific perspective they are not merely statistically insignificant. Aside from speculation, we have no good explanation for the many significant disagreements we find. The argument that they are statistically insignificant and can safely be ignored while maintaining that evolution is a fact ignores the science.

Furthermore, the idea that the aligning of various traits, of various species, makes evolution a fact is a fallacy. A repeated pattern of similarities proves, well, a repeated pattern of similarities. To conclude that evolution or common descent is a scientific fact would we not also need powerful evidence that such disparate populations could somehow follow an evolutionary path, one into the other? But this is a major problem in evolutionary theory.

Another evolutionist compared evolution to heliocentrism, and evolution denial to holocaust denial:

Surely it is in theory possible to explain the evidence in another way, with miracles that alter the relative position of earth and sun in a manner that misleadingly resembles the earth following a gravitational orbit around the sun.

Likewise, it will always be theoretically possible to deny evolution, provided one is willing to posit a misleading miracle where observable natural phenomena and forces would be perfectly adequate to account for what we see.

In the case of evolution, we had pretty reliable evidence even when we simply had the succession of fossils, the evidence of related morphology, and other such data. Now that we have DNA evidence, and can determine relatedness between all living things using genetics, the situation is summed up nicely by Francisco Ayala: "there are no more gaps."

Of course, it will always be possible to deny scientific facts, just as it is possible to deny historical facts. And so the question is whether one wants to follow the most straightforward reading of the evidence, or whether one prefers to engage in something that is to science what holocaust denial is to history.

But the evolutionary explanations are not perfectly adequate to account for what we see, that’s the point. The positing of miracles is irrelevant. Genetics, for instance, reveals substantial problems for evolution. We know there is a genetic resistance to change and we would have to believe that evolution somehow serendipitously created the very mechanisms crucial for evolution itself.

Another evolutionist argued that mutations, recombination and selection create novel traits and speciation, as has been observed in the lab and in nature. But this doesn’t make all of evolution a fact. Even evolutionists agree that the large scale changes required by the theory are not well explained by known mechanisms. And in any case we would have to believe that evolution somehow created recombination itself, so that such evolution could occur. Perhaps so, but such a story is hardly a fact.

Novel traits have been observed to emerge rapidly and via complex mechanisms that respond to the environmental need. Yes, adaptation is observed, but it makes little sense under evolution. How did evolution create adaptation mechanisms that respond to environmental challenges with rapid design changes? The explanation that “such mechanisms increase fitness, so it is no surprise they evolved” is more dogma than science.

I would gladly accept and promote evolution, but it has substantial scientific problems papered over with strident claims of being a fact. Is there evidence for evolution? Certainly. But in each case there are profound subtleties and problems. Whether or not evolution, in one form or another, actually occurred is difficult to say. But what is clear is the state of the evidence. Evolutionists dogmatically claim the idea is a scientific fact, but they don’t show why.

342 comments:

  1. In order to have a rational discussion about evolution being a fact or not, you need to define the term "evolution."

    Look in any textbook of evolutionary biology and you will see that the minimum definition of evolution is something like this: "Evolution is a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations." [What Is Evolution]

    This is the correct scientific definition of evolution. The one that allows us to say that the acquisition of antibiotic resistance in bacteria is an example of evolution.

    That kind of evolution has been directly observed thousands of times in nature and it is a well-established fact. Even most creationists accept that "microevolution" is a fact.

    Please tell us whether you deny this. Do you claim that minimal evolution, as defined in the textbooks, has not been sufficiently proven to merit facthood?

    If so, we have nothing further to discuss since you are clearly being irrational.

    If not, then you must accept that evolution is a fact. You can then quibble about whether all examples of large-scale evolution are facts or not but that's a very different discussion than the one you describe above. In fact, many scientists will agree with you that there are aspects of the history of life that are not facts. The debate will be about which evolutionary hypothesis are well-established and which ones are not. It should not be about whether the process of evolution actually exists in nature, because that is a fact. [Evolution Is a Fact and a Theory]

    You are doing your readers a great disservice by using a definition of evolution that's different from the scientific definition. When evolutionists say that evolution is a fact they are referring, in part, to the correct definition of evolution. If you disagree with that definition then you are obliged to make this clear to your audience.

    You deny the facthood of evolution because you don't think that the proven, factual, examples of evolution are "real" evolution, right? You aren't questioning whether evolution is a fact or not, you are questioning the scientific definition of evolution and that's a completely different debate than the one you are pretending to engage in.

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  2. I would gladly accept and promote evolution, but it has substantial scientific problems papered over with strident claims of being a fact.

    Would you be more comfortable with the claim that evolution is a well-supported scientific theory?

    Indeed, the best-supported scientific theory we have to explain the history and diversity of living beings?

    Would you disagree with those claims?

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  3. So you are confused why evolution is a fact?

    Biological evolution in simple terms is modification with descent. The fact is that every living thing is different from one another. The Theory of Evolution is our best explanation as to why lifeforms change as they propagate.

    I also don't know if you realize this but you make such outrageous claims throughout your blogs without any authoritative source or evidence to back your claims up.

    Bullshit claims you make:
    "Quite the opposite, there are substantial scientific problems with evolution." Where are the scientific problems? Just because you say there are scientific problems does not make it so.

    "Massive similarities and differences show up where they shouldn’t be." Again, where the fuck do you come up with this shit? This is outrageous! Where is the scientific studies that show this? Or did you find this out for yourself while studying insects in your backyard with a magnifying glass?

    "To conclude that evolution or common descent is a scientific fact would we not also need powerful evidence that such disparate populations could somehow follow an evolutionary path, one into the other? But this is a major problem in evolutionary theory."
    Is this your problem with evolutionary theory? If it is you have absolutely no credibility. Try citing a source that explains this better to your readers.

    Another thing, you say at least twice there are substantial problems with evolution, then you say there are subtleties with each case. Which is it? Make up your mind and get your ass to a library you idiot!

    Lastly we "evolutionists" do show why evolution is a fact, and we do this in a formal way. It's called college! Go to college and take evolutionary biology classes you retard if you need someone to take you by the hand to show you that evolution is a fact.

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  4. acsmashing:

    Everyone agrees that organisms can change. The problem is whether it has been established that one species can change into another via natural mechanisms alone.

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  5. Larry Moran,

    You unwittingly make the point perfectly. Your (pl) definition of evolution is as variable as the heritable traits of organisms.

    To be sure, heritable change in a population cannot be used as evidence for common descent, yet it always is used just that way.

    It is always 'assumed' that because we can observe changes in traits in living species, that this MUST be the same mechanism that was responsible for historical biological development of organisms. This is nothing but sophisticated guesswork and is not based on any empirical evidence.

    Cornelius Hunter is correct to pound away on the illogic and irrationality of making such an unscientific claim.

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  6. "Another evolutionist argued that mutations, recombination and selection create novel traits and speciation, as has been observed in the lab and in nature. But this doesn’t make all of evolution a fact."

    and

    "It is always 'assumed' that because we can observe changes in traits in living species, that this MUST be the same mechanism that was responsible for historical biological development of organisms."

    Watching you guys twist is getting funnier, as the empirical observations of evolution are piling up. So we're down to: sure, we observe evolution, but we can't apply these observations to the whole, or to the past. This despite strong evidence (fossil, and genomic data for example) that we would be justified in doing so.

    What, you want a textbook sticker saying evolution can be directly observed today, there is strong data for past evolution, but no one has directly observed it in all organisms through all time, so we can't conclude it is a fact?

    The direct observation of evolution does falsify ID predictions. Novel traits do emerge from random variation plus selection. 'Information' if you want to call it does increase. Species are formed and isolated by mutations. So what is left there?

    I suppose you now want a designer in the background, fiddling all these changes, even intervening in lab experiments, but only in ways that make them appear to be the result of natural processes?

    Not science. Contributes nothing.

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  7. If evolution is a fact, then you should be able to convince of that quite easily. I am unconvinced, thereby proving that it's not a fact.

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  8. Venture, your logic is faulty. Here is an example that should help you understand that.

    The age of the Earth is a well established fact. There are nonetheless some die-hard creationists who think that the Earth is 6,000 years old. Does that mean that the old age of the Earth is not a well-established fact? Hardly. It just means that some people cannot accept the obvious for ideological reasons.

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  9. Cornelius Hunter: I will be an evolutionist if they can explain why it is a scientific fact.

    Great! So you commit to following the argument through.

    Cornelius Hunter: A repeated pattern of similarities proves, well, a repeated pattern of similarities.

    It's not just a mere similarity, but a nested hierarchy, which is a fundamental biological pattern, a pattern that helps us unravel the history of life.

    1) Do you understand and accept that the nested hierarchy is an objective biological pattern (across many taxa of interest)?
    2) Do you understand that descent with modification along uncrossed lines leads to a nested hierarchy (with a few caveats)?

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  10. When evolutionists say that evolution is a fact they are referring, in part, to the correct definition of evolution. If you disagree with that definition then you are obliged to make this clear to your audience. ~ Larry Moran

    It is not clear that the mechanisms we observe are capable of causing the origin of species. What we observe are mechanisms that help species to adapt. Whether or not these mechanisms are capable of the larger-scale change evolution requires is in question.

    In fact, the scientific evidence suggests that they don’t. So the fact that we observe adaptations is not proof that evolution is a fact. Such a claim amounts to an equivocation on evolution. It could be that the mechanisms we observe are up to the task, but we don’t know that they are...

    How fundamental innovations (or novelties) originate in evolution remains one of the most enigmatic questions of biology. But that is the heart of evolution. When evolutionists say evolution is an undeniable fact, they very much are including innovations and novelties. And in doing so, they damage the reputation of science. ~ Cornelius Hunter

    Evolution is a kind of funny word -- it depends on how one defines it. If it means simply change over time even the most rock ribbed fundamentalist knows that the history of the earth has changed -- that there's been change over time. If you define 'evolution' precisely though to mean 'the common descent of all life on earth from a single ancestor via undirected mutation and natural selection', that's textbook definition of neo Darwinism, biologists of the first rank have real questions. ~ Paul Nelson

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  11. Larry Moran said...

    You are doing your readers a great disservice by using a definition of evolution that's different from the scientific definition. When evolutionists say that evolution is a fact they are referring, in part, to the correct definition of evolution. If you disagree with that definition then you are obliged to make this clear to your audience.


    CH has been corrected dozens of times on his equivocation over the observed fact of evolution, and the theory of evolution that explains the observed fact. One has to assume such misrepresentation on his part is therefore deliberate.

    Making up his own custom non-standard definitions is another of Cornelius' favorite rhetorical games.

    He made up his own definition of 'fact', then claims "evolution is not a fact".

    He made up his own definition of 'religion', then claims "evolution is a religion".

    He made up his own definition of 'fundamental' then claims "fundamental predictions (of ToE) are wrong."

    Of course such equivocation is quite intellectually dishonest, but CH doesn't care. He's pandering to his equally scientifically ignorant IDC audience. Tell the mooks what they want to hear is the order of the day.

    It's a really pathetic display from a supposedly professional educator.

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  12. Steve-

    What would Paul Nelson* know of 'biologists of the first degree"?

    Maybe you should take some time to read some science from outside the YEC/philosophy/ARN sphere. You might realize the scientific evidence contains direct observations of the processes you dismiss during evolution.

    *Though he does have an honest streak:

    "Easily the biggest challenge facing the ID community is to develop a full-fledged theory of biological design. We don’t have such a theory right now, and that’s a problem. Without a theory, it’s very hard to know where to direct your research focus. Right now, we’ve got a bag of powerful intuitions, and a handful of notions such as ‘irreducible complexity’ and ‘specified complexity’-but, as yet, no general theory of biological design."

    Paul Nelson, Touchstone Magazine 7/8 (2004): pp 64 – 65.

    "Natural science at the moment seems to overwhelmingly point to an old cosmos. Though creationist scientists have suggested some evidence for a recent cosmos, none are widely accepted as true. It is safe to say that most recent creationists are motivated by religious concerns" Three Views on Creation and Evolution (p. 49).

    At least he'll admit ID is a theoryless bag of nonsense terms, and that creation science chooses to dismiss reality for dogma.

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  13. Steve said...

    It is not clear that the mechanisms we observe are capable of causing the origin of species.


    It is perfectly clear to professional scientists, those who actually study and work with the evidence. It is only unclear to those who for religious reasons want it to be unclear.

    What we observe are mechanisms that help species to adapt.

    What are the physical mechanisms you accept that cause adaptation? What barrier or limits can you point to which prevent those same mechanisms from making larger changes over time? Please be specific.

    Please tell us how much does one species have to 'adapt' before you would accept it to be a new species? Please be specific.

    Why should the morphological and genetic evidence that land mammals adapted to life in water and gave rise to the cetaceans not considered evidence for evolution? Please be specific.

    Whether or not these mechanisms are capable of the larger-scale change evolution requires is in question.

    It's not in question at all in the mainstream scientific community, only to ignorant laymen with a religious axe to grind.

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  14. Dr. Hunter - You've raised this question many times over the past 1-2 years, and I think you are missing the point. Start with any accepted definition of evolution and ask yourself if it is valid or not. If it is valid, then evolution is indeed a fact. For example, lets say for the sake of discussion, that evolution is defined as biological change over time. Does life change over time? If yes, then evolution (using that very unscientific definition) is a fact.

    Here is one such textbook definition: "In fact, evolution can be precisely defined as any change in the frequency of alleles within a gene pool from one generation to the next." Helena Curtis and N. Sue Barnes, Biology, 5th ed. 1989 Worth Publishers, p.974

    Are you with me so far?

    If so, then the next questions are why do these changes occur, to what extent do they occur and how? The answers to those questions are generally speaking hypotheses of evolution. Those hypotheses can become theories after they are confirmed via experiment and other forensic methods.

    Does that make sense?

    Maybe I'm missing your point!

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  15. Larry Moran:

    =====
    In order to have a rational discussion about evolution being a fact or not, you need to define the term "evolution."
    =====

    I did. You can see it at the link I provided where I made my proposition to evolutionists. Here is what I wrote:

    ---
    Evolution: For evolutionists this word refers to the idea that all the species arose via natural laws. God did not use miracles to create the biological world, instead everything arose by the play of the natural processes and laws we observe. Moths changing color or bacteria gain resistance to antibiotics do not constitute evolution. They are at best tiny examples of evolution. Such examples of adaptation do not prove evolution any more than a flat parking lot proves the flat earth theory. Evolution is a big theory.
    ---


    ===
    Look in any textbook of evolutionary biology and you will see that the minimum definition of evolution is something like this: "Evolution is a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations." [What Is Evolution]
    ===

    Either this is an equivocation of the worst kind, or you are ignorant of evolutionary claims. When evolutionists claim their idea is a scientific fact, they are not merely claiming heritable changes in a population. Evolutionists backpedal so fast when confronted with their own words they'll soon be back in Kent.

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  16. Cornelius Hunter said...

    Evolution: For evolutionists this word refers to the idea that all the species arose via natural laws. God did not use miracles to create the biological world, instead everything arose by the play of the natural processes and laws we observe. Moths changing color or bacteria gain resistance to antibiotics do not constitute evolution. They are at best tiny examples of evolution. Such examples of adaptation do not prove evolution any more than a flat parking lot proves the flat earth theory. Evolution is a big theory.


    Cornelius, I 'll pose the same questions to you I asked of Steve:

    What are the physical mechanisms you accept that cause adaptation? What barrier or limits can you point to which prevent those same mechanisms from making larger changes over time? Please be specific.

    Please tell us how much does one species have to 'adapt' before you would accept it to be a new species? Please be specific.

    Why should the morphological and genetic evidence that land mammals adapted to life in water and gave rise to the cetaceans not be considered evidence for evolution? Please be specific.

    Here's another big chance for you to prove you're more than empty rhetoric and hot air.

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  17. This is hilarious. Cornelius makes up his own definition of evolution, then says all evolutionists agree with it, and then when an actual evolutionist doesn't agree with it, calls him ignorant. that is some chutzpah (and not in a good way).

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  18. I knew that biophysicists don't have a firm grasp of physics. It looks like they are not all that knowledgeable about biology, either.

    Either that, or perhaps Cornelius is not a representative sample.

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  19. Cornelius is a singularly nonproductive biophysicist.

    Does that help explain his confusion and fear of testing his own hypotheses?

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  20. Thornton: Of course such equivocation is quite intellectually dishonest, but CH doesn't care. He's pandering to his equally scientifically ignorant IDC audience. Tell the mooks what they want to hear is the order of the day.

    It's a really pathetic display from a supposedly professional educator.


    Thornton knows the above is a bunch of hogwash, that C.H.'s readers are plenty scientifically educated. Maybe Thornton can state Green's Theorem on their next post without looking it up, or maybe he/she can explain the central role this theorem plays in a huge branch of mathematics, and while at it, electrical engineering. In short, Thornton is "quite intellectually dishonest" in the above characterization of the readers here. And when you think about it, there's something really bizarre about a person who just can't stay away from a blog where there are supposedly ignorant people posting. And can't resist the usual fallback strategy: extreme pejorative, i.e. towards C.H. and others here. Indicative, I would guess, of mental conflict (but an educated guess).

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  21. It is not clear that the mechanisms we observe are capable of causing the origin of species. What we observe are mechanisms that help species to adapt. Whether or not these mechanisms are capable of the larger-scale change evolution requires is in question. ~ Cornelius Hunter

    It's not in question at all in the mainstream scientific community, only to ignorant laymen with a religious axe to grind. ~ Thorton


    In fact, many scientists will agree with you that there are aspects of the history of life that are not facts. ~ Larry Moran

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  22. MSEE said...

    Thornton: "Of course such equivocation is quite intellectually dishonest, but CH doesn't care. He's pandering to his equally scientifically ignorant IDC audience. Tell the mooks what they want to hear is the order of the day.

    It's a really pathetic display from a supposedly professional educator."

    Thornton knows the above is a bunch of hogwash, that C.H.'s readers are plenty scientifically educated.


    LOL! You mean like pastor Tedford, or Michael the armchair philosophizer, or Joe G the toaster repairman? Or like you are MSEE, who is suddenly well educated in evolutionary biology and genetics because you have an undergraduate statistics book on the table in front of you?

    Feel free to answer the questions I asked Steve and CH there MSEE. Show us how scientifically educated you are.

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  23. Steve said...

    It is not clear that the mechanisms we observe are capable of causing the origin of species. What we observe are mechanisms that help species to adapt. Whether or not these mechanisms are capable of the larger-scale change evolution requires is in question. ~ Cornelius Hunter

    It's not in question at all in the mainstream scientific community, only to ignorant laymen with a religious axe to grind. ~ Thorton

    In fact, many scientists will agree with you that there are aspects of the history of life that are not facts. ~ Larry Moran


    You forgot to answer the questions about your claims Steve. Here they are again.

    What are the physical mechanisms you accept that cause adaptation? What barrier or limits can you point to which prevent those same mechanisms from making larger changes over time? Please be specific.

    Please tell us how much does one species have to 'adapt' before you would accept it to be a new species? Please be specific.

    Why should the morphological and genetic evidence that land mammals adapted to life in water and gave rise to the cetaceans not be considered evidence for evolution? Please be specific.

    Unless you demonstrate otherwise, I'll assume you're just another IDC blowhard whose mouth is making claims his evidence can't cash.

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  24. MSEE,

    I am a physicist and I had no idea what Green's theorem was about—until I looked it up. Guess, what, not only am I familiar with it, I recently used it in my work to reduce an area integral to a line integral. I simply did not know (or forgot) that this version of Stokes' theorem was named after Green.

    Richard Feynman once said: "You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird." Same here. I don't need to know what this or that mathematical result is called, I just need to know how to apply it. Your idea of what it means to be scientifically educated is misplaced.

    As to Dr. Hunter (let's call him that), he writes a lot about evolution, but he does not seem to know much about the subject. Every time a professional biologist swings by, Cornelius gets plastered.

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  25. As to Dr. Hunter (let's call him that), he writes a lot about evolution, but he does not seem to know much about the subject.

    He's a PhD alright, so you can relax about giving him an honorific that he's earned.

    I think he knows enough about the subject to fear it - as displayed in these precincts.

    The whole idea seems to be a problem for people who have preconceptions and fears about the accuracy of so-called Divine Revelation. I wager that every complainer about evolutionary theory who has posted here is deeply fearful about being disabused of the ground of their being. How about it, guys and gals, fess up.

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  26. Zachriel:

    ===
    1) Do you understand and accept that the nested hierarchy is an objective biological pattern (across many taxa of interest)?
    2) Do you understand that descent with modification along uncrossed lines leads to a nested hierarchy (with a few caveats)?
    ===

    Do you understand affirming the consequent?

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  27. David:

    ===
    The whole idea seems to be a problem for people who have preconceptions and fears about the accuracy of so-called Divine Revelation. I wager that every complainer about evolutionary theory who has posted here is deeply fearful about being disabused of the ground of their being. How about it, guys and gals, fess up.
    ===

    Yeah, another cogent evolutionary point. Oh, so why is evolution a fact?

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  28. Cornelius Hunter said...

    Yeah, another cogent evolutionary point. Oh, so why is evolution a fact?


    Please clarify what you mean by 'evolution' and we'll tell you. Again.

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  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  30. And again.

    But he won't listen. Remember, the ID movement is competitive when it comes to rhetorical tricks, and Cornelius thinks he's found one that works here.

    Anything but actually working in the lab or in the field.

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  31. Larry Moran:

    ===
    Look in any textbook of evolutionary biology and you will see that the minimum definition of evolution is something like this: "Evolution is a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations." [What Is Evolution]

    This is the correct scientific definition of evolution. The one that allows us to say that the acquisition of antibiotic resistance in bacteria is an example of evolution.

    That kind of evolution has been directly observed thousands of times in nature and it is a well-established fact. Even most creationists accept that "microevolution" is a fact.

    Please tell us whether you deny this. Do you claim that minimal evolution, as defined in the textbooks, has not been sufficiently proven to merit facthood?
    ===

    Evolution is a theory to explain the origin of species. If one wants to define it as heritable changes over multiple generations, then fine use that definition, but that is not what evolutionists are referring to when they claim evolution is a fact. Read any of the serious defenses of why evolution is compelling, starting with *Origins* if you like, and you will see they are not referring to your pet definition. They are referring to the origin of species.

    And yet this is precisely the response one hears from evolutionists every time they are called to account for their ludicrous claim that evolution is a scientific fact. They suddenly backpedal, saying all they meant was a bit of heritable change occurring between a few generations, and with the appropriate umbrage demand that you confess your ignorance or your denial of such obvious facts.

    So over and over, in textbooks, in popular books, magazine articles, TV specials, university courses, and so forth, the evolution of the species via common descent is proclaimed to be a fact, beyond a shadow of a doubt. Illustrations depict the evolutionary relationships from the frist cells to fishes, to amphibians, to reptiles, to birds and to mammals. High claims are made about how obvious and undeniable all this is. But when asked for the details the evolutionist plays a shell game with you. It is a disgusting and deceitful move.


    ===
    If not, then you must accept that evolution is a fact. You can then quibble about whether all examples of large-scale evolution are facts or not but that's a very different discussion ...
    ===

    A very different discussion? No, it is the same discussion, and you know it.


    ===
    You are doing your readers a great disservice by using a definition of evolution that's different from the scientific definition.
    ===

    No, I'm not the one doing the disservice. I'm addressing the absurd claims of evolutionists.


    ===
    You aren't questioning whether evolution is a fact or not, you are questioning the scientific definition of evolution and that's a completely different debate than the one you are pretending to engage in.
    ===

    No I'm addressing the clear claims of evolutionists. But evolutionists go into denial of their own claims when asked to defend them.

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  32. Oh, so why is evolution a fact?

    I've already explained that, Dr Hunter, on the John Horgan thread that you ran away from.

    Actually, I could care less whether evolution is a fact. But I do think it is a well-supported scientific theory. Well enough supported to have played and to be playing a central heuristic role in modern biology.

    I also think it is the best-supported scientific theory extant today to explain the history and diversity of living beings on this planet.

    Do you disagree?

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  33. I said earlier:

    I wager that every complainer about evolutionary theory who has posted here is deeply fearful about being disabused of the ground of their being.

    Dr Hunter dismissively said:

    Yeah, another cogent evolutionary point.

    My remark was obviously not an argument in defense of evolution. It was an hypothesis about motivation.

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  34. A past evolution is undeniable with the following restrictions. We have no idea how many separate lineages have been involved and until reproductive continuity can be established between separate lines, we must consider the possibility of independent origins. In other words, there may be an element of truth in the Genesis account. However that is in no sense fatal to the notion of reproductive continuity with change (evolution). Quite the contrary, until monophyleticism is established throughout the animal, plant and prokaryotic kingdoms we have a responsibility to give serious consideration to these possibilities. Personally I do not believe that a monophyletic (Darwinian) evolution will ever prove to be valid. Neither did Leo Berg -

    "Organisms have developed from tens of thousands of primary forms. i.e, polyphyletically.
    Nomogenesis, page 406.

    Leo Berg's proposal is in full accord with what we really know and I know of nothing in conflict with that position. There is no compelling reason to assume the monophyletic Darwinian model and several reasons not to. Incidentally, there is no reason to accept monotheism either and certainly no reason to assume a male God. It is my belief that obligatory sexual repoduction is incompatible with progressive evolution and can only generate subspecies and varieties none of which are incipient species in any event, a conclusion reached by others long before me.

    With those restrictions in mind we are absolutely certain that within the confines of the Order taxonomic level that organisms undoubtedly share a common original ancestor. However, even there, the same true species may have been independently produced on more than one occasion. That is what one would actually expect if you agreed as I do with a goal directed evolutionary process.

    I believe that the races of Homo sapiens separately arose and not necessarily from the same hominid ancestor. There is no question that the races of Homo sapiens are all the same species but that does not prove that they shared the same immediate ancestor. The Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis (PEH)is compatible with that interpretation and it offers a reasonable explanation for the racial differences that characterize the human races in their original pure form, differences that have subsequently been blurred through inter-racial mixing. Indeed I cannot imagine an evolutionary scenario that could generate those racial differences in populations which had a common original ancestor. The problem is that the Darwinian monophyletic model has been accepted with very little evidence in its favor and much with which it simply cannot be reconciled.

    "It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatsoever for believing it to be true."
    Bertrand Russell

    Amen.

    Now I fully except to be insulted for these departures from Darwinian orthodoxy but remember before you begin that you are not insulting only John A. Davison but Leo S. Berg, the greatest Russian biologist of his day and in my opinion the most objective evolutionist of all time.

    ReplyDelete
  35. "....but remember before you begin that you are not insulting only John A. Davison but Leo S. Berg, the greatest Russian biologist of his day and in my opinion the most objective evolutionist of all time."

    Of course, it is no insult to refute a hypothesis with data that came nearly a century after Berg's work.

    Take genomics. It is clear models of phylogenomics support common descent. It is clear human 'races' share a common origin, coming out of Africa. It is clear gain of novel functions and speciation can come about through natural selection acting on random variation.

    So pointing out Berg's 1910's-1920's work failed to recognize these facts is no insult to him. To a living scientist who clings to these odd notions, it might sting a bit.

    PEH suffers the same issue as ID-it inserts a unknown, unquantifiable force into the natural investigation evolution, and yells at us to stop work and listen to the prophets because we don't know everything. Specifically, it mistakes convergence for prescription, and lacks any analysis of modern molecular biology.

    At least JAD acknowledges the specious connection between the fuzzy hypotheses of ID and PEH and a Christian God:

    "Incidentally, there is no reason to accept monotheism either and certainly no reason to assume a male God."

    Out of curiosity, if PEH is ongoing, are we a special creation, or an unfolding intermediate?

    Evolution is directly observed in the present, and supported by historical and phylogenomic data. That you feel your God gets left out is merely a result of naturalistic inquiry. Theistic evolutionists abound. Methodological naturalism is a process. A successful one. Perhaps incomplete if you think we live in a demon haunted world. But why is it we don't teach Atlas holding up the world, God shaking the corners of the earth in an earthquake? Why is it we don't consider the supernatural in a courtroom, a "demon did it" defense, if you will? Why is meteorology so darn atheistic? Why no reference to the gods of weather?

    These, and science, are testaments to the success of methodological naturalism. And Hunter tries to turn back the clock and jam God back into the equation by forcibly reinstating ?natural theology? I guess?

    "Evolution: For evolutionists this word refers to the idea that all the species arose via natural laws. God did not use miracles to create the biological world, instead everything arose by the play of the natural processes and laws we observe."

    Ahh, much more culture-war appropriate than any definition of evolution taught in any classroom. Us against the atheist scientists. Us against how science damn well works is so much less appealing. Theistic evolutionists are liars or insane. Francis Collins, the Catholic church, moderate protestants, et al. be damned. They're atheists too, right?

    ReplyDelete
  36. Edward:

    ===
    "Evolution: For evolutionists this word refers to the idea that all the species arose via natural laws. God did not use miracles to create the biological world, instead everything arose by the play of the natural processes and laws we observe."


    Ahh, much more culture-war appropriate than any definition of evolution taught in any classroom. Us against the atheist scientists. Us against how science damn well works is so much less appealing. Theistic evolutionists are liars or insane. Francis Collins, the Catholic church, moderate protestants, et al. be damned. They're atheists too, right?
    ===

    Atheist scientists? Catholic church, moderate protestants, et al. be damned? They're atheists too, right? ?

    Where did this come from? And how is one to respond to irrational comments? Or Edward, perhaps your confusing this blog with another one?

    ReplyDelete
  37. Cornelius Hunter said...

    Where did this come from? And how is one to respond to irrational comments?


    Good question. Lots of knowledgeable posters have been pointing out the folly of the irrational OPs with zero apparent effect. Presenting scientific evidence doesn't seem to do the trick.

    Or Edward, perhaps your confusing this blog with another one?

    No one with even a rudimentary knowledge of the biological sciences will ever confuse the OP writer with someone competent in evolutionary theory, that's for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I haven't posted here in a while because I stopped reading the blog. Frankly, it just seemed the same old stuff regurgitated day after day. I guess it's fairly clear to me by now that CH thinks he's right and that the other 99.9999% of biological scientists in the world (including Larry Moran) are wrong. But as far as I can see CH has had zero success in actually persuading anybody of his position. Right CH? I haven't seen anybody so much as say yet "I saw your point CH..." or "Well, CH I must admit you've got me stumped on that one".

    Which kind of begs the question - what is the point of this blog and CH's "mission"? He certainly seems to have absolutely no interest in moving the discussion forward and seems trapped in a groove (which is frankly becoming increasingly uninteresting).

    I guess if CH's "mission" is to persuade the evil evolutionists of the folly of their ways and perhaps alter the prevailing zeitgeist, I'd say his mission so far has been a resounding failure. But then if his mission is to bolster the faith of the born-again community and give them fodder to continue to believe that evolution is wrong, then perhaps it has some value. But either way you look at it, as a scientific endeavor what this blog represents seems to have little value. So I may look at it once in a while, but until CH has something new to say there really seems to be little point.

    ReplyDelete
  39. "Atheist scientists? Catholic church, moderate protestants, et al. be damned? They're atheists too, right?

    Where did this come from? And how is one to respond to irrational comments?""

    Well, you could try actually responding to my comments instead of picking one line to dismiss out of hand.

    I've made my point. I presented the evidence for the fact of evolution. I present methodological naturalism as a working and widely accepted practice. I question the insertion of PEH or ID or whatever you want to call it into science, and reject it as much as we would inserting non-naturalism into the courtroom or weather report. That we don't know everything is not a compelling reason to abandon science.

    And the little bit you've quoted is asking how theistic evolution can be, if you define evolution as the absence of God from all creation. Surely if that is the definition, these people are insane or deceived!

    Seems maybe that's not the definition of evolution those persons use. It seems like that is a definition of evolution you crafted to force a clash where there is none, which curiously, you have called out others for:

    "The reason why the warfare myth is so enduring is because it is so useful....Conflict over evolution vs. faith? The perpetuation of this two-dimensional strawman....."
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2009/06/francis-collins-evolution-versus-faith.html

    How is it your definition does not conform to this two-dimensional strawman? You have conveniently forgotten evolution makes no comment on what god can or cannot, has or has not done. This is why you refer to methodological naturalism as incomplete, remember?

    And if my statement is irrational, and coming out of nowhere please correct the following posters. I think you well know that it is the heartbeat of this blog and this movement to equate science with atheism.

    bornagain77:
    It never is about the evidence with neo-Darwinists but always about protecting their atheistic religion no matter what lie they have to tell.

    Mats
    "Evolution is true because evolution is true. That seems to be the motto among atheists."

    jadavison
    "You see Darwinians are not scientists and never have been. They are atheist mystics who worship the Great God Chance."


    "How is it that theists of diverse creed (present company excluded) and atheists can agree on this?
    ===
    Cornelius Hunter: Because they hold the same religious views about god, regardless of whether they are theists or atheists."

    And so on....
    Google: site:darwins-god.blogspot.com atheist

    Maybe you'd like to reprimand them. Oddly, its only the oppositions comments that get called out as irrational.

    July 18, 2010 10:16 PM

    ReplyDelete
  40. Cornelius Hunter said:

    ============================
    So over and over, in textbooks, in popular books, magazine articles, TV specials, university courses, and so forth, the evolution of the species via common descent is proclaimed to be a fact, beyond a shadow of a doubt. Illustrations depict the evolutionary relationships from the f[ir]st cells to fishes, to amphibians, to reptiles, to birds and to mammals. High claims are made about how obvious and undeniable all this is. But when asked for the details the evolutionist plays a shell game with you. It is a disgusting and deceitful move.
    ============================

    So, if (hypothetically) we can persuade you that some species are related in a branching phylogeny, that will persuade you that “evolution” has actually occurred, at least in that case? That the forks in the tree represent origin of new species from pre-existing ones?

    ReplyDelete
  41. CH: "Evolution: For evolutionists this word refers to the idea that all the species arose via natural laws. God did not use miracles to create the biological world, instead everything arose by the play of the natural processes and laws we observe. Moths changing color or bacteria gain resistance to antibiotics do not constitute evolution. They are at best tiny examples of evolution. Such examples of adaptation do not prove evolution any more than a flat parking lot proves the flat earth theory. Evolution is a big theory."

    T: "Cornelius, I 'll pose the same questions to you I asked of Steve:

    What are the physical mechanisms you accept that cause adaptation? What barrier or limits can you point to which prevent those same mechanisms from making larger changes over time? Please be specific.

    Please tell us how much does one species have to 'adapt' before you would accept it to be a new species? Please be specific.

    Why should the morphological and genetic evidence that land mammals adapted to life in water and gave rise to the cetaceans not be considered evidence for evolution? Please be specific.

    Here's another big chance for you to prove you're more than empty rhetoric and hot air."


    Bumped for Cornelius Hunter, who seems to run from every question about his claims. Doesn't say much for your position when you have to flee from the simplest questions, now does it?

    ReplyDelete
  42. Edward:

    ===
    if you define evolution as the absence of God from all creation. Surely if that is the definition, these people are insane or deceived!
    ===

    But I don't define evolution as the absence of God from all creation. You are making things up.

    ===
    Seems maybe that's not the definition of evolution those persons use. It seems like that is a definition of evolution you crafted to force a clash where there is none, which curiously, you have called out others for:
    ===

    No, it is a definition *you* crafted to force a clash. Let's keep things straight.



    ===
    "The reason why the warfare myth is so enduring is because it is so useful....Conflict over evolution vs. faith? The perpetuation of this two-dimensional strawman....."
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2009/06/francis-collins-evolution-versus-faith.html

    How is it your definition does not conform to this two-dimensional strawman? You have conveniently forgotten evolution makes no comment on what god can or cannot, has or has not done. This is why you refer to methodological naturalism as incomplete, remember?
    ===

    There you go again. It is your strawman, not mine.


    ===
    And if my statement is irrational, and coming out of nowhere please correct the following posters. I think you well know that it is the heartbeat of this blog and this movement to equate science with atheism.
    ===

    No science is not equated with atheism, evolutionary thought is. Equating evolutionary thought with atheism goes back at least to the 17th c., and is erroneous, as I have pointed out many times.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Joe Felsenstein:

    ===
    So, if (hypothetically) we can persuade you that some species are related in a branching phylogeny, that will persuade you that “evolution” has actually occurred, at least in that case? That the forks in the tree represent origin of new species from pre-existing ones?
    ===

    Sure, diatoms are one such example of such "evolution." But of course that doesn't make the heroic claims of evolutionary thought a fact.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Edward:

    ===
    I've made my point. I presented the evidence for the fact of evolution.
    ===

    OK, let's have a look.

    ===
    Take genomics. It is clear models of phylogenomics support common descent. It is clear human 'races' share a common origin, coming out of Africa.
    ===

    OK.

    ===
    It is clear gain of novel functions and speciation can come about through natural selection acting on random variation.
    ===

    No, you are misrepresnting science with evolutionary thinking. What is clear is that novel function and speciation can arise via complex mechanisms for which evolution has no explanation, aside from non scientific, just-so stories.


    ===
    Evolution is directly observed in the present,
    ===

    No, now you are equivocating. What we observe is not even close to what evolutionists refer to when they claim it is a fact.



    ===
    and supported by historical and phylogenomic data.
    ===

    OK.

    ===
    That you feel your God gets left out is merely a result of naturalistic inquiry.
    ===

    Again, you're going off track with irrelevant (and false) commentary.


    ===
    Theistic evolutionists abound.
    ===

    Of coruse they do. Why do you find that to be significant?

    ===
    Methodological naturalism is a process. A successful one.
    ===

    OK.


    ===
    Perhaps incomplete if you think we live in a demon haunted world.
    ===

    Oh boy.


    ===
    But why is it we don't teach Atlas holding up the world, God shaking the corners of the earth in an earthquake? Why is it we don't consider the supernatural in a courtroom, a "demon did it" defense, if you will? Why is meteorology so darn atheistic? Why no reference to the gods of weather?
    ===

    You're asking the wrong questions.


    ===
    These, and science, are testaments to the success of methodological naturalism. And Hunter tries to turn back the clock and jam God back into the equation by forcibly reinstating ?natural theology? I guess?
    ===

    False but predictable. Evolutionists dogmatically claim it is a fact, and when probed they blame you for even asking for an explanation. It's all our fault.


    ===
    I present methodological naturalism as a working and widely accepted practice
    ===

    OK.

    ===
    I question the insertion of PEH or ID or whatever you want to call it into science, and reject it as much as we would inserting non-naturalism into the courtroom or weather report.
    ===

    OK

    ===
    That we don't know everything is not a compelling reason to abandon science.
    ===

    There you go again. It is you, not I, who has abandoned science. Let's keep things straight. I'm the one playing by the rules, you're misrepresenting science and using fallacies, and claiming the conclusion is a fact.

    ReplyDelete
  45. The favourite fallacy of evolution:

    The Slippery Slope
    Also Known as: The Camel's Nose

    The Slippery Slope is a fallacy in which a person asserts that some event must inevitably follow from another without any argument for the inevitability of the event in question. In most cases, there are a series of steps or gradations between one event and the one in question and no reason is given as to why the intervening steps or gradations will simply be bypassed. This "argument" has the following form:

    1. Event X has occurred (or will or might occur).
    2. Therefore event Y will inevitably happen.

    This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because there is no reason to believe that one event must inevitably follow from another without an argument for such a claim. This is especially clear in cases in which there is a significant number of steps or gradations between one event and another.

    by Dr. Michael C. LaBossiere

    This has been Darwin's pet fallacy and nothing has changed since.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Edward does not exist because he has hidden his identity. Such types should not be allowed to hold forth. Furthermore, evolution is not ongoing as he insists. Edward is not a scientist because scientists support their claims with facts.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  47. Cornelius,

    How you can continue to deny a past organic evolution baffles me. Do you believe every species was created de novo? It seems that must follow from your thesis as presented here. While it is true that the number of creations is unknown and, as Leo Berg proposed, may have numbered in the tens of thousands, surely no serious person can discard reproductive continuity with change (evolution) as you seem to be doing. To deny a past evolution is unthinkable for this investigator. However, that is all that MUST be assumed and that is all that CAN be verified by the fossil and historical record as well as by exeriment. The Darwinian notion that evolution is an ongoing phenomenon flies in the face of an enormous body of evidence to the contrary.

    In short -

    "A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable."
    John A. Davison

    Once again, I am not alone.

    "Aren't our plants, our animals lacking some mechanisms which were present in the early flora and fauna?
    Pierre Grasse, Evolution of Living Organisms, page 71.

    I answer with an unqualified yes to Grasse's question. Note the internal contradiction between Grasse's question and the title of his book.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  48. Larry Moran,

    The textbook definition you presented for evolution is dead wrong. EVERY evolutionary event WAS instantaneous. Gradualism is another fatal flaw in the Darwinian model as Richard B. Goldschmidt and Otto Schindewolf each independently established beyond any reasonable doubt. To continue to assume otherwise is a scandal. Darwinian evolution has never been anything more than a figment of the human imagination, an atheist mindset incapable of recognizing a purposeful, ascending, goal-directed phylogeny even as everything in the living world demands that conclusion.

    Furthermore, a new Genus has not appeared in the last two million years and a new verifiable species not in historical times. All we witness at present is rampant extinction without a single replacement. In short -

    "A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable."
    John A. Davison

    Once again I am not alone.

    "Any system that purports to account for evolution must invoke a mechanism not mutational and aleatory."
    Pierre Grasse, Evolution of Living Organisms, page 245 The sentence in Grasse's italics for emphasis.

    So much for Darwinism!

    "No sadder proof can be give by a man of his own littleness than disbelief in great men."
    Thomas Carlyle

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    P.S. I greatly appreciate this opportunity to present my thesis on a website other than my own. I would be a fool not to utilize this opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Dr Hunter to Edward:

    What is clear is that novel function and speciation can arise via complex mechanisms for which evolution has no explanation, aside from non scientific, just-so stories.

    This is “clear”?

    Complex novel function can arise via complex mechanisms? How do you know that?

    Speciation can arise via complex mechanisms? What mechanisms do you have in mind?

    What is the evidence that the mechanisms are complex?

    How did you determine that random mutation and natural selection are not explanations?

    ReplyDelete

  50. ===
    Edward: It is clear gain of novel functions and speciation can come about through natural selection acting on random variation.
    ===

    Cornelius: No, you are misrepresnting science with evolutionary thinking. What is clear is that novel function and speciation can arise via complex mechanisms for which evolution has no explanation, aside from non scientific, just-so stories.


    Mutations, genetic drift, and natural selection are just so stories? That would come as a great shock to the researchers who have studied them and taken pains to document them in the literature.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Michael: The Slippery Slope is a fallacy in which a person asserts that some event must inevitably follow from another without any argument for the inevitability of the event in question.
    This has been Darwin's pet fallacy and nothing has changed since.


    What you are actually pointing to is a typical creationist fallacy. Evolution doesn't need a slippery slope, just an open landscape. We know that landscape exists; we know that there are MANY, MANY ways to be a viable organism. We know that change and speciation are occurring today through mutations, genetic drift, and natural selection in populations diverging in geography, ecology, or mate choice. Genetic drift and natural selection have a mathematical basis and are time invariant. Mutations are chemical/biological in nature, but we have absolutely no reason to think that mutations did not occur in the past. We can start with ancient mutations as an assumption, but we can also test and verify this assumption because of the excellent fit between morphology/fossils and molecules. The fossil record and morphology tell us we share increasingly recent ancestry with lampreys, chondrichthyans, actinopterygians, lungfishes, amphibians, reptilians, monotremes, marsupials, xenarthrans, scandentians, lemuroids, tarsiers, platyrrhines, cercopithecoids, hylobatids, Pongo, and Pan, consecutively. As we look backwards in branching order, we find increasing genetic differences between these groups and ourselves. Our assumption of mutations through time is justified.

    The reason the intermediate steps can be assumed is that they are exactly the same steps we see occurring today, and their efficacy is time invariant. Actualist philosophy turns out to be justified empirically, just as it is in geology.

    To the creationist, a 1,000 yard march could never be produced through hundreds of five-step shuffles.

    ReplyDelete
  52. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Michael said, "The Slippery Slope
    Also Known as: The Camel's Nose...This has been Darwin's pet fallacy and nothing has changed since. "

    Well said!

    Between the slippery slope thinking of evolutionists and the slippery definition of evolution itself, science is a hindered in attempt to get past this 19th century superstition. Accept it folks, evolution, as in common descent, is a dog that doesn't hunt.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Cornelius Hunter: I will be an evolutionist if they can explain why it is a scientific fact.

    Zachriel: Great! So you commit to following the argument through.

    1) Do you understand and accept that the nested hierarchy is an objective biological pattern (across many taxa of interest)?
    2) Do you understand that descent with modification along uncrossed lines leads to a nested hierarchy (with a few caveats)?


    After stating you were interested in following the argument through, you avoid it.

    Cornelius Hunter: Do you understand affirming the consequent?

    Yes, indeed! It's a deductive fallacy of this form: If P, then Q. Q. Therefore, P.

    Instead, with hypothetico-deduction, we have this: If P, then Q. Q. Therefore, P is consistent with Q, tentatively supported, subject to further testing, and competes against other such hypotheses.

    Now, you said you were interested in the scientific explanation for evolution. 1) is a verifiable observation. 2) is a mathematical consequent.

    1) Do you understand and accept that the nested hierarchy is an objective biological pattern (across many taxa of interest)?
    2) Do you understand that descent with modification along uncrossed lines leads to a nested hierarchy (with a few caveats)?

    ReplyDelete
  55. Those who deny a past evolution are just as deluded as those who insist it is still in progress.

    I haven't had this much fun in years.

    I love it so!

    ReplyDelete
  56. LOL!

    Monday morning and this place is already a tard goldmine!

    You've got CH doing his usual equivocation over the definition of evolution.

    You've got Michael the armchair philosophizer once again trying to 'reason' away 150+ years of empirical positive evidence.

    You're got Neal "liar for Jesus" Tedford acting like a little lap dog and sucking up to Michael's stupidity

    You've got the deluded kook Davison desperate for attention, any attention, and spewing hate-filled invectives at everyone to get it.

    That's why you IDiots are so entertaining!

    BTW, I notice none of you cowards would touch my questions.

    T: "What are the physical mechanisms you accept that cause adaptation? What barrier or limits can you point to which prevent those same mechanisms from making larger changes over time? Please be specific.

    Please tell us how much does one species have to 'adapt' before you would accept it to be a new species? Please be specific.

    Why should the morphological and genetic evidence that land mammals adapted to life in water and gave rise to the cetaceans not be considered evidence for evolution? Please be specific."

    I know, it's my own fault for expecting an honest, technical answer from you blustering windbags. But no one can say I didn't give you a chance.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I have issued not a single hate filled invective. It is Thorton (whoever that is) who is issuing hate filled invectives as any fool can see.

    Snortin' Thorton is a joke and a perfectly useless member of society. He is in the words of Harry Truman -

    "A living miracle with neither brains nor guts."

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  58. Some of the adaptaion sre the result of preexisting mechanisms. And time might be a barrier to novel mechanisms that require a number of changes.

    And I guess significant morphological change and some repoductive barriers would demonstrate clearly a new species. Of course, we have to define species.

    And whales are evidence for evolution.

    ReplyDelete
  59. jadavison:

    ===
    How you can continue to deny a past organic evolution baffles me. Do you believe every species was created de novo?
    ===

    I'm not the one in denial here. I don't "deny a past organic evolution." The idea has substantial scientific problems (as you note), and is religiously motivated, but also does have its positive evidences.

    ===
    It seems that must follow from your thesis as presented here. While it is true that the number of creations is unknown and, as Leo Berg proposed, may have numbered in the tens of thousands, surely no serious person can discard reproductive continuity with change (evolution) as you seem to be doing.
    ===

    No, I'm not discarding that.

    ===
    To deny a past evolution is unthinkable for this investigator. However, that is all that MUST be assumed and that is all that CAN be verified by the fossil and historical record as well as by exeriment. The Darwinian notion that evolution is an ongoing phenomenon flies in the face of an enormous body of evidence to the contrary.
    ===

    We can of course discuss and speculate on possibilities and hypotheses, but I think it also is important to establish honesty and clarity. Evolutionists have badly misrepresented science.

    ReplyDelete
  60. John said, "We know that change and speciation are occurring today".

    The kind of change we observe does not support common descent. Finding a perfect definition for a species is called the "species problem". If domestic dogs were extinct, evolutionists would probably identify them as several different species.

    But, let's get real, what evolutionists claim goes way, way beyond the subtle claims of so-called speciation. Evolutionists claim that dozens of phyla can arise in a geological blink of an eye. The Cambrian Explosion, for example. All your claims of genetic drift and mutation rates are totally unfounded and unsupported by the fossil record of this geological age (and others as well).

    What you guys keep showing over and over again is that species are not immutatable, which is not controversial.

    Carl Linnaeus was the father of taxonomy and did his work well before evolutionists hijacked bilogy. He believed that since God has created the world, it is possible to understand God's wisdom by studying His creation. As he wrote in the preface to a late edition of Systema Naturae: Creationis telluris est gloria Dei ex opere Naturae per Hominem solum -- The Earth's creation is the glory of God, as seen from the works of Nature by Man alone. The study of nature would reveal the Divine Order of God's creation, and it was the naturalist's task to construct a "natural classification" that would reveal this Order in the universe.

    So order and similarity in biology were FIRST viewed by biologists (the actual ones that founded the science itself) as work of the common designer.

    Your post is well written but heavy on the hogwash and statements that overspread the actual evidence.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Cornelius Hunter said...

    We can of course discuss and speculate on possibilities and hypotheses, but I think it also is important to establish honesty and clarity.


    Why don't you try leading by example then Dr. Hunter, instead of all the weasel-wording and disingenuous semantic games.

    Please give us your accepted definition of 'evolution'.

    Please give us your accepted definitions of 'religion' and 'religious'.

    Please give us your accepted definition of 'fact'.


    I know keeping things vague and undefined is a huge part of Creationist strategy, but it's neither intellectually honest nor apt to produce any meaningful dialog.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Neal Tedford said...

    But, let's get real, what evolutionists claim goes way, way beyond the subtle claims of so-called speciation. Evolutionists claim that dozens of phyla can arise in a geological blink of an eye.


    LOL! The Cambrian geological "blink of an eye" is some 20 million years. Are you really too stupid to realize that?

    The Cambrian Explosion, for example.

    What about it? It was preceded by the Vendian and Ediacaran eras which lasted some 80-90 million years and produced the precursors to the life found in the Cambrian.

    Ediacaran Assemblage

    You seem to be fixated on the words "Cambrian explosion" without having the faintest clue about what happened then or what came before. I guess it's easier for you to just lie and bluff instead of actually doing any research and learning.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Cornelius

    Evolution is not "religiously motivated." It WAS an undeniable reality concerning which only one major problem remains unresolved. What WERE the mechanisms by which it occurred.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  64. If you had 20 million years... EVEN according to evolutionist mutation rates and genetic drift you can not manufacture the more than two dozen phyla found in the Cambrian Explosion in that time. So, the theory of evolution fails by its own math... and that's when the math doesn't matter anymore because it really wasn't based on it anyways.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Neal Tedford said...

    If you had 20 million years... EVEN according to evolutionist mutation rates and genetic drift you can not manufacture the more than two dozen phyla found in the Cambrian Explosion in that time.


    Show me any place where evolutionary theory states that 20 MY is insufficient time.

    So, the theory of evolution fails by its own math... and that's when the math doesn't matter anymore because it really wasn't based on it anyways.

    Show me this math "Liar for Jesus" Tedford, and show me exactly where it fails. Don't forget to provide support for any assumptions your calculations make.

    You're good at making these ridiculous claims, now try growing a spine and backing one up with evidence for once.

    ReplyDelete
  66. There is as yet no "theory" of evolution. There are two miserably inadequate hypotheses, Lamarckism and Darwinism. The truth lies elsewhere in a planned phylogeny which is now complete.

    I am not alone.

    "Those who consider that all the strange course of evolution is the result of an accident, or a series of accidents, are quite at liberty to think so. I believe there is a Plan, and though in the slow course of evolution there have been ups and downs, and what look like mistakes, the plan has gone on; and we may feel sure that it cannot fail to meet its goal."
    Robert Broom, Finding the Missing Link, page 101.

    It doesn't get any better than this.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  67. Thanks to Larry Moran for proving that neither Intelligent Design nor Creation is anti-evolution.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Zachriel:
    1) Do you understand and accept that the nested hierarchy is an objective biological pattern (across many taxa of interest)?


    Unfortunately you do not know what a nested hierarchy is.


    2) Do you understand that descent with modification along uncrossed lines leads to a nested hierarchy (with a few caveats)?

    Again until you demonstrate an understanding of nested hierarchies it is useless trying to discuss them with you.

    I say that because this:

    "descent with modification along uncrossed lines leads to a nested hierarchy"

    is unsubstantiated hubris and demonstrates your lack of understanding.

    Now it would help your position if you could reference a valid source pertaining to nested hierarchies which defines them and describes the rules for constructing one.

    I have done so and all you can do is ignore it. And all oleg can do is harp on the author and website that posted it.

    IOW all both of you have done is prove that evotards are intellectual cowards.

    ReplyDelete
  69. thortard:
    No one with even a rudimentary knowledge of the biological sciences will ever confuse the OP writer with someone competent in evolutionary theory, that's for sure.

    It has already been proven that you don't have the slighest clue about the theory of evolution.

    And you sure as hell cannot support the claim that all living organisms owe their collective common ancestry to some unknown populations of single-celled organisms via blind, undirected chemical processes...

    ReplyDelete
  70. Pastor Neal again violates the Ninth Commandment:
    "...EVEN according to evolutionist mutation rates and genetic drift you can not manufacture the more than two dozen phyla found in the Cambrian Explosion in that time. So, the theory of evolution fails by its own math…"

    Then show us the math, Pastor Neal. You won't, because you are deliberately bearing false witness.

    What does the Bible say about hearsay?

    ReplyDelete
  71. smokey- your position doesn't have any math that would/ could support it.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Oleg said:"The age of the Earth is a well established fact."

    Seems to me that the fact is that we found rokcs with a relation of Pb isotopes, then we extrapolates that IF ther was no alteration in the Pd content of the rock and IF the the decay is constant over the time the rocks should be 4.5 MY old.
    Saying that the decay of isotopes, process we know since 0.15 MY, was constant in that time frame is very big IF to say the actual age of earth is a fact.

    ReplyDelete
  73. oleg::
    "The age of the Earth is a well established fact."

    Age of Earth has changed

    But I digress- in order to determine the age of the Earth we have to know how it was formed.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Cornelius Hunter, I don't want to spoil the party but maybe you could first establish why it is relevant that all? some? “evolutionists” (whoever they are) say that “evolution is a fact”. As a side note since you already quote Campbell you could also quote the definition of evolution that he presents to make clear what you are talking about.

    ReplyDelete
  75. second opinion,

    Evolutionists like to use the evolution (as in the change in allele frequency over time (within a population)) of say resistance to pestisides, as evidence for universal common ancestry.

    And then they say that the people who reject universal common ancestry reject evolution.

    They are a twisted lot.

    But anyway-

    biological evolution, what is being debated

    I would love to see that, or some reasonable facsimile thereof, presented during the first day of any science class discussing biological evolution.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Zachriel:

    ===
    Now, you said you were interested in the scientific explanation for evolution. 1) is a verifiable observation. 2) is a mathematical consequent.
    ===

    Where did that come from? Looks like "evolution is a fact" just got downgraded to "here's an explanation." Do you say evolution is a fact or not?

    ReplyDelete
  77. Cornelius Hunter replied to my question, which was

    ====================

    [me:]
    ===
    So, if (hypothetically) we can persuade you that some species are related in a branching phylogeny, that will persuade you that “evolution” has actually occurred, at least in that case? That the forks in the tree represent origin of new species from pre-existing ones?
    ===

    [Cornelius:]

    Sure, diatoms are one such example of such "evolution." But of course that doesn't make the heroic claims of evolutionary thought a fact.
    ==================

    (Loud scraping noise from CH's direction as his goalposts move suddenly to “heroic claims”)

    OK, so diatoms evolved (I presume you are accepting the evolution of the 100,000 species of diatoms in 200 genera from a common ancestor). Now we're getting somewhere. There is molecular and morphological evidence for diatom evolution.

    What is there about the diatom evidence that makes it convincing to you when similar evidence for the mere 59,000 species of chordates does not convince you that they have a common ancestor?

    ReplyDelete
  78. Joe Felsenstein:
    What is there about the diatom evidence that makes it convincing to you when similar evidence for the mere 59,000 species of chordates does not convince you that they have a common ancestor?

    Perhaps it isn't as similar as you make it out to be.

    And also it could be that the diatoms do not have one common ancestor...

    ReplyDelete
  79. Cornelius Hunter: Where did that come from? Looks like "evolution is a fact" just got downgraded to "here's an explanation." Do you say evolution is a fact or not?

    This is what you said:

    Cornelius Hunter: I will be an evolutionist if they can explain why it is a scientific fact.

    Perhaps you don't understand that to explain something is to provide an explanation. Scientific claims are established through a process of hypothesis-testing. If you are not interested in following the explanation, just say so.

    1) Do you understand and accept that the nested hierarchy is an objective biological pattern (across many taxa of interest)?
    2) Do you understand that descent with modification along uncrossed lines leads to a nested hierarchy (with a few caveats)?

    ReplyDelete
  80. I cannot believe that there exist those who can question a past evolution. I expect rational minds to question a present evolution because it has yet to be demonstrated. That is why the Darwinian model is absurd. It has not been verified and never will be.

    Ontogeny is the perfect model for phylogeny. The individual develops from the egg following the instructions contained in that egg. Development normally stops when the adult stage is reached. We now know that that egg does not even need to be fertilized to produce a normal individual. Reasoning by analogy, the instructions for phylogeny must have been laid down in the beginning or more likely beginnings. That is my position as it was that of Leo Berg. Speaking of ontogeny and phylogeny -

    "Neither in the one nor in the other is there room for chance."
    Nomogenesis, page 134

    The analogy continues. Ontogeny terminates with the death of the individual. Phylogeny terminates with the extinction of its products. I am convinced with others, notably Pierre Grasse, that evolution WAS also a self-terminating phenomenon, no longer in operation.

    "A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable"

    That is my position. Now I would like to hear the position of others. Then and only then can a reasoned dialogue ensue.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  81. Zachriel asked Dr Hunter:

    1) Do you understand and accept that the nested hierarchy is an objective biological pattern (across many taxa of interest)?

    2) Do you understand that descent with modification along uncrossed lines leads to a nested hierarchy (with a few caveats)?


    Don't hold your breath, Zach.

    Answering questions entails making a commitment to an intellectual position.

    That would risk ending the game.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Zachriel:
    Scientific claims are established through a process of hypothesis-testing.

    Then it is very telling that you refuse to provide a testable hypothesis for your position.

    2) Do you understand that descent with modification along uncrossed lines leads to a nested hierarchy (with a few caveats)?

    It doesn't.

    You do not understand nested hierarchies.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Joe:

    ===
    (Loud scraping noise from CH's direction as his goalposts move suddenly to “heroic claims”)
    ===

    No, that was the sound of me moving your goalposts back to the original evolutionary claim.


    ===
    OK, so diatoms evolved (I presume you are accepting the evolution of the 100,000 species of diatoms in 200 genera from a common ancestor). Now we're getting somewhere. There is molecular and morphological evidence for diatom evolution.

    What is there about the diatom evidence that makes it convincing to you when similar evidence for the mere 59,000 species of chordates does not convince you that they have a common ancestor?
    ===

    There is no comparison between these diatom adaptations and the large-scale change evolution requires. Evolutionists like to pose the following false dichotomy: "Either species are completely unable to adapt, or else evolution is a fact." I put the word "evolution" in quotes above, as you did as well, because what the fossils reveal is adaptive change. Evolutionists mislead people by saying that since adaptive change produced modest changes then therefore evolution is a fact.

    Not only was the adaptive change modest, but such adaptive change is caused by mechanisms evolution doesn't explain, except for just-so serendipity stories. We must believe that evolution created molecules and mechanisms which then turned out to have incredible unintended consequences--they caused or enabled further evolution on a grand scale.

    Impossible? No, but we don't know how it would have happened and it would be an incredible series of unlikely events. What the diatom fossils show is fine-grained history of modest adaptations, which are comparable to what we can observe in the field, occurring via complex mechanisms which evolution luckily would have had to have just happened to have created in the first place. And evolutionists claim it all is an undeniable fact.

    As with bacteria gaining resistance antibiotics, insects gaining resistance to pesticides, beaks changing shape, and so forth, it is a gross misrepresentation of science to claim that these diatom fossil species demonstrate evolution to be a fact.

    ReplyDelete
  84. It's amazing to me (a professor of theoretical biology at a European university) that people even use the word "evolutionist", as if accepting that life on earth evolved is tantamount to adhering to some political ideology. The "fact" of evolution is completely taken for granted in the scientific community, because of the overwhelming empirical evidence. The fossil record, combined with reliable dating methods, is enough to convince any open-minded person that the structure of biodiversity on earth has evolved. Evolution is a done deal. Only idiots and/or liars would dispute that. The main scientific questions concern the mechanisms driving evolution. Natural selection is the only mechanism empirically identified so far that can produce adaptations, but there are many other mechanisms that can cause evolution.

    If Dr Hunter wishes to continue to deny that evolution is a fact, that's fine, but in the scientific community it has been accepted as fact for a long time. And it has nothing to do with religion. And that matters.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Cornelius,
    "Not only was the adaptive change [in diatoms] modest.."

    modest change like this from a single ancestral form?:

    http://piclib.nhm.ac.uk/piclib/webimages/0/31000/600/31675_med.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  86. smokey (the bear?) : But he won't listen. Remember, the ID movement is competitive when it comes to rhetorical tricks, and Cornelius thinks he's found one that works here.

    Anything but actually working in the lab or in the field.


    This is so typical of "debate" with Darwinians.

    Like virtually ALL the Darweeners that post here this is just more smoke and mirrors to hide yourself behind.

    You never get even the most simple logic yet still think you've got the answers to questions you clearly don't even understand.

    As Michael pointed out, the slippery slope fallacy pervades Darwinian thinking.

    So does begging the question, the undistributed middle and post hoc ergo propter hoc type fallacies - the literature is literally riddled with such errors.
    Darwins OOS is a study in fallacy.

    Unfortunately Darwinians, not being properly trained in critical thinking logic or philosophy, never see their own ill reasoned propositions.

    CH owns you all.

    If only you Darwinistas were smart enough to understand what he's saying, but its so obvious that you don't.

    Always majoring in the minors of micro evol. and always in denial of reality while tripping over yourselves with logic so bad it wouldn't pass a grade 1 test.

    Unreal. Darwinism sucks.

    ReplyDelete
  87. troy,

    Strange how soemthing can be a "fact" when it doesn't have any postive evidence for it beyond "it looks like common ancestry to me"....

    ReplyDelete
  88. Joe G,

    You are mostly ignored because you are an idiot, but your stupidity is also a source of amusement. If "onlookers" identify you with an ID spokesperson, so much the better.

    ReplyDelete
  89. ===
    Edward: Take genomics. It is clear models of phylogenomics support common descent. It is clear human 'races' share a common origin, coming out of Africa.
    ===

    CH: OK.

    ===

    Glad we agree!!!
    +++++++++++++

    RC: It is clear gain of novel functions and speciation can come about through natural selection acting on random variation.

    ===

    CH: No, you are misrepresnting science with evolutionary thinking. What is clear is that novel function and speciation can arise via complex mechanisms for which evolution has no explanation, aside from non scientific, just-so stories.
    _______
    Complex mechanisms. Hmm. You grant that "novel function and speciation" can arise. So we're reduced to the hypothesis that mechanisms that contribute to evolution cannot evolve.

    So:

    1) What is the definition of complex? You ID types throw that word around a lot, with the intent that complex=designed, when that conclusion is a but an unsupported metaphysical bias.

    2) If you grant, as you have here, that novel functions can be formed from natural selection acting on variation, then what is the limit of achievable complexity?

    3) Could you explain which of, say Allen MacNeil's 47 sourced of genetic variation are too complex to have evolved, and how you know this:
    http://evolutionlist.blogspot.com/2007/10/rm-ns-creationist-and-id-strawman.html

    Many seem mechanismless-for example, point mutations, non-disjunction, chromosome fusions. How can random processes that proceed from natural causes of mutation or errors be unevolvable? They just are, not genetically encoded processes. Some others are (e.g. recombination), but how you strongly conclude they are beyond the reach of evolution is not clear. Perhaps their entire evolutionary origin is not completely traces, but again, this is taking a claim that science doesn't know everything, and decreeing it has failed.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Dr. Hunter you may appreciate this from Casey Luskin, though I don't think it will help you very much in overcoming your doubts in the almighty power of evolution to create you from goo:

    Peer-Reviewed Paper Investigating Origin of Information Endorses Irreducible Complexity and Intelligent Design
    Excerpt: the presence of information is the cause of lowered logical entropy in a given system, rather than the consequence. In living systems the principle is always that the information is transcendent to, but using raised free energy chemical bonding sites

    McIntosh solves the problem of the origin of information by arguing that it must arise in a "top-down" fashion which requires the input of intelligence:

    [T]here is a perfectly consistent view which is a top-down approach where biological information already present in the phenotypic creature (and not emergent as claimed in the traditional bottom-up approach) constrains the system of matter and energy constituting the living entity to follow intricate non-equilibrium chemical pathways. These pathways whilst obeying all the laws of thermodynamics are constantly supporting the coded software which is present within ... Without the addition of outside intelligence, raw matter and energy will not produce auto organization and machinery. This latter assertion is actually repeatedly borne out by experimental observation - new machinery requires intelligence. And intelligence in biological systems is from the non-material instructions of DNA.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/07/peer-reviewed_paper_investigat036771.html

    ReplyDelete
  91. BA-

    Just so people know the source:

    Dr Andy C. McIntosh is a Professor (the highest teaching/research rank in U.K. university hierarchy) in Combustion Theory at Leeds University, U.K. His Ph.D. was in aerodynamics. A number of his students later worked for Rolls Royce, designing aircraft engines.

    Dr McIntosh's recent book Genesis for Today (foreword by Ken Ham) is available from Answers in Genesis.

    The 'journal' has published extensively on homeopathy and structured water:

    http://journals.witpress.com/pages/papers.asp?iID=49&in=1&vn=5&jID=19

    Anyone can publish in one of these non-journal pseudo-peer reviewed online things. If it isn't subscribed to by any library, isn't indexed in PubMed etc., it doesn't matter. And I'm not paying $30 to debunk the paper.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Troy:

    ===
    It's amazing to me (a professor of theoretical biology at a European university) that people even use the word "evolutionist", as if accepting that life on earth evolved is tantamount to adhering to some political ideology.
    ===

    In 1888, evolutionist Joseph Le Conte argued that evolution was so compelling and obvious that those who accept evolution should not be called evolutionists any more than those who accept gravity should be called gravitationalists.


    ===
    The "fact" of evolution is completely taken for granted in the scientific community, because of the overwhelming empirical evidence. The fossil record, combined with reliable dating methods, is enough to convince any open-minded person that the structure of biodiversity on earth has evolved.
    ===

    Why is that true?

    ===
    Evolution is a done deal. Only idiots and/or liars would dispute that.
    ===

    If that is the case, then the evidence and argument for the fact of evolution must be obvious. If you can answer the above question, and explain why the fossil record makes this fact so obvious, then I'll immediately publicly admit to my mistakes, and promote evolution.

    If you cannot answer the question, then you will have repeated the same old evolutionary lie.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Edward, I find it very interesting that materialists overwhelmingly attack the man when presented with evidence, as you just did with Dr. McIntosh, and never engage the argument head on. Was this an oversight on your part and you merely forgot to present your countervailing evidence that entropy has been violated by sufficient degree, by evolutionary processes, as to produce a molecular machine that Dr. McIntosh insist cannot be done. If this is so and you merely forgot your manners in reasoned discourse I would very much like to see your evidence, as would many other people like to see such evidence, for the generating of such functional complexity as a molecular machine by evolutionary processes.

    "There are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system only a variety of wishful speculations. It is remarkable that Darwinism is accepted as a satisfactory explanation of such a vast subject."
    James Shapiro - Molecular Biologist - Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
    University of Chicago

    “There is no known law of nature, no known process and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in matter.” Werner Gitt, “In the Beginning was Information”, 1997, p. 106. (Dr. Gitt was the Director at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology) His challenge to scientifically falsify this statement has remained unanswered since first published.

    Now Edward I know it will probably be very hard for you not to attack the Character of these two men. But as it stands I really don't care if they are cross-dressing NFL football players, all I care about is if you can produce direct observational evidence of a molecular machine being produced by evolutionary processes so as to falsify their claims.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Cornelius Hunter said...

    Troy: The "fact" of evolution is completely taken for granted in the scientific community, because of the overwhelming empirical evidence. The fossil record, combined with reliable dating methods, is enough to convince any open-minded person that the structure of biodiversity on earth has evolved.
    ===

    Why is that true?


    It's true because the ToE is the only internally consistent and consilient scientific explanation for all the observed data from dozens of different scientific disciplines. ToE has also been subjected to the most rigorous of testing in the last 150 years and passed with flying colors.

    If that is the case, then the evidence and argument for the fact of evolution must be obvious. If you can answer the above question, and explain why the fossil record makes this fact so obvious, then I'll immediately publicly admit to my mistakes, and promote evolution.

    It's not just the fossil record, it's the consilience of evidence from all scientific disciplines. It's the fact that the fossil record and the genetic record each can be used to independently create a phylogenetic tree of ancestral relationships, and the two phylogenetic trees (morphological and genetic) match precisely to an astoundingly high degree of statistical significance, to better than 38 decimal places.

    Consilience of independent phylogenies

    So either evolution is true, or the 'Designer' went to amazing lengths to make it look like evolution is true.

    ReplyDelete
  95. "I find it very interesting that materialists overwhelmingly attack the man when presented with evidence, as you just did with Dr. McIntosh, and never engage the argument head on. Was this an oversight on your part and you merely forgot to present your countervailing evidence that entropy has been violated by sufficient degree"

    Like I said, the paper is in such a non-journal that none of the libraries I have privileges at have access to it. Since it seems you're intimately familiar with the article, why don't you summarize it for me. You say "entropy is violated." How? Lets start there.

    And I was merely informing other readers of the source (a aerodynamic engineer) and that the journal is dubious. No attack-just the facts.

    And I really don't give a damn about your quotes. They range from creationists posing as scientists to out of context to wholly fabricated. Make a point.

    ReplyDelete
  96. Larry Moran: "Evolution is a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations." [What Is Evolution]

    This is the correct scientific definition of evolution."


    No it's not. Your "definition" may very well include miracles....or magic spells from fairies, or intelligence as the root cause for adaptive changes. But ToE does NOT allow for miraculous explanations...it doesn't even allow for intelligence or consciousness as the cause of change. Instead, ToE is a materialistic/naturalistic theory that has only ONE adaptive mechanism at its disposal: RMNS. that's it. It's funny how the chickens in science are all now running from it....and how they now are all changing the goalposts by admitting that internal processes actually do the adapting, which contradicts ToE, which says only populations evolve (via chance/selection). But the internal mechanisms logically have intelligence/consciousness at their core, especially given the fact that they pop out quick adaptive changes in the face of environmental challenges.

    In short, your new "definition" is a goal-moving fail.

    ReplyDelete
  97. evidence for the assertion above that mutation/selection is the only adaptive mechanism for evolution:

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIIBMechanismsofchange.shtml


    but where's the HGT? where's the epigenetics? where's the phenotypic plasticity...where's the symbiosis?...where's the environmentally-induced mutation? All these and much more....they don't list them because they contradict ToE...and they contradict ToE because they happen in individual animals, which ToE has always claimed do not have the capacity to drive their own adaptive change in response to a need.

    ReplyDelete
  98. tomnrh,

    You're wrong. The Berkeley Evolution site discusses HGT, phenotypic plasticity, symbiosis, and the role of environment in inducing mutations. You just couldn't find them.

    ReplyDelete
  99. While it is true that the evidence for a past evolution is overwhelming, the devil is in the details. Here are some questions that remain unanswered.

    How many times did life arise?
    How many times once formed was it subsequently directed?
    Is evolution still in progress?

    For the first two questions we know nothing for certain. However, I favor the evidence that supports Leo Berg's bold claim that there were "tens of thousands of primary forms," a position in direct opposition to the monophyleticism of the Darwinian model.

    I also favor Berg's claim that -

    "Evolution is in a great measure an unfolding of pre-existing rudiments."
    Nomogenesis, page 406

    That position is part of the foundation of my Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis (PEH), an idea that originated with William Bateson as Berg cited.

    As for the third question, I still await an experimentally verified example to the challenge I issued several years ago. Until that question can be answered with an unambiguous example I will continue to believe that just as ontogeny terminates with the adult individual, so phylogeny has now also terminated with the present fauna and flora, a position also favored by Pierre Grasse as I have already demonstrated.

    I have nothing more to offer here because nobody pays any attention to me or my predecessors, not a religious or atheist mystic in the lot.

    Cornelius Hunter and myself are just about the only contibutors here who reveal their actual identity. Like Panda's Thumb, After The Bar Closes, Uncommonm Descent, EvC, Pharyngula,richarddawkins.net, Sandwalk, you name them, this weblog is also dominated by users terrified at the prospect of signing their names to their words. Such venues contribute nothing of substance, serving only as therapy for intellectual failures who were unable to achieve recognition in the real world, a world in which a man's science is known by its author.

    It is no wonder that I discourage anonymity on my weblog. Cornelius should do the same. Until he does he falls into the same trap with Paul Zachary Myers, Wesley Royce Elsberry and Clinton Richard Dawkins. They have all attracted huge numbers of cowardly blowhards the vast majority of whom hide their identity terrified that they might be wrong.

    The current crop of pro Darwinian writers ignore all the critics of the paradigm they still protect. Instead of countering their critics they pretend we never existed. That pattern has prevailed now for a century in a half, from St. George Mivart right up to the present day. That pattern is represented right here on this blog as it is on Pharyngula, Panda's Thumb, richarddawkins.net, Uncommon Descent and just about every other venue that masquerades as a forum for the discussion of our origins.

    I am here to tell everyone that we do exist, we have always existed and we will prevail.

    "If you tell the truth, you can be certain, sooner or later, to be found out."
    Oscar Wilde

    ReplyDelete
  100. oleg said...

    tomnrh,

    You're wrong. The Berkeley Evolution site discusses HGT, phenotypic plasticity, symbiosis, and the role of environment in inducing mutations. You just couldn't find them.


    HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Man, you just gotta love the bumbling ineptitude of the blustering Creationists.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Professor Felsenstein,

    The better question would be to ask what makes you think unicellular diatoms can/should be compared to multicellular chordates.

    Joe Felsenstein: "What is there about the diatom evidence that makes it convincing to you when similar evidence for the mere 59,000 species of chordates does not convince you that they have a common ancestor?"

    ReplyDelete
  102. Zachriel:

    ===
    Perhaps you don't understand that to explain something is to provide an explanation. Scientific claims are established through a process of hypothesis-testing. If you are not interested in following the explanation, just say so.
    ===

    Oh good. For a moment there I thought you weren't going to explain why evolution is a scientific fact.

    ===
    1) Do you understand and accept that the nested hierarchy is an objective biological pattern (across many taxa of interest)?
    ===

    Your wording is ambiguous. The nested hierarchy is a model--an objective model--that defines a biological pattern. If that is what you meant, then yes, I agree.

    ===
    2) Do you understand that descent with modification along uncrossed lines leads to a nested hierarchy (with a few caveats)?
    ===

    Actually descent with modification can lead to all kinds of patterns depending on *how* the descent with modification occurs. Given cladogenesis and anagenesis, drift and selection, parallel and convergent evolution, extinction, variable rates of evolution, etc, evolution can, and does, explain all kinds of patterns.

    ReplyDelete
  103. Part 1:

    I've sat back for a while and watched the debate/discussion progress in the usual manner, which is with the scientific challenges becoming more and more finessed and micro-specific.

    It goes like this. Cornelius alleges a flaw or incongruity in evolutionary theory. He claims he offers no alternative, despite his very evident credentials. We get past a few little spats and then two or three contributors, with the odd interjection by Cornelius, start a more and more detailed game of 'so and so said quote, quote quote - if that's the case then what about.....'

    The truth is that Cornelius's original pieces and the ensuing arguments are tantamount to trolling through the Lord of the Rings trilogy looking for spelling errors and then saying 'well, look at that! The whole tome is flawed and not worth reading.' Meanwhile, what the creationist/IDers are really trying to convince us is that their cat has five legs, while we stand there in amazement, gazing at a cat with four legs and a tail.

    ‘The zygotic perambulator of the hexagonoid dizzydoodle of the southern rhinestone slug befuddles it's doodlewacky in a manner which goes against popular evolutionary theory and contradicts claims in regard to the eastern zombiefied articulated collywobble. So how do you cover that gap/flaw huh? Come on, HOW? TELL ME HOW? Ha, you can't, therefore evolutionary theory is a crock!' Naturally there is no claim to an alternative theory being postulated (rolls eyes). If this is the case, why are they not applying themselves fully to resolving these dilemmas in a scientific manner? What reasons do they have for challenging science rather than putting all their energies into rectifying, answering or improving these factors? What reasons?

    ReplyDelete
  104. Part 2:

    I can't answer most (if any!) of the highly specialized questions the detractors of evolution pose, I don't even know if eminent scientists can. But that's not really the point now is it. Like I've said before, all the gaps, flaws and doubts that have been resolved have been resolved by science, ALWAYS, not creation/ID, EVER. There is absolutely no proof to the contrary. Of course there is never any real response to this from the creation/ID side. They just raise another infinitesimal question mark over 'the science'. And when an answer they deem acceptable is not forthcoming they claim….well, what is it they claim? If it’s not creation/ID/god, what is it? The Erich von Danekin theory? The L. Ron Hubbard theory? The white mice theory al la 'Hitchhikers...'? This is a question for which an answer is never proffered. By all means, question the science. But come up with a scientific alternative, not a myth-based one.

    I'll tell you what. Next time these questions are raised, I'll hold my breath until science finds an evidential answer. You can hold your breath until creation/ID/god provides an evidential answer. Let’s see who turns blue and keels over first shall we? It is science which fills the gaps. Not balls of papier- mache made from pages of the bible attempting to plug them. I'd rather breathe while the formation is explained/understood/whatever scientifically. Not be smothered by a book with no evidential answers for life or anything else. A single book of selective amalgamated texts of doubtful origin is what some people use as a guide for life? How does that work?

    In the meantime I will continue to critique the articles of Cornelius and the posts of his supporters as the exercises in creative writing that they are. Religion drives science? It certainly does for proponents of creation/ID/god. Meanwhile science gets on with the job of providing more and better answers on an ongoing and accelerating basis.

    ReplyDelete
  105. BA77:

    "Edward, I find it very interesting that materialists overwhelmingly attack the man when presented with evidence, as you just did with Dr. McIntosh, and never engage the argument head on."

    Dr McIntosh published his paper in a very obscure journal that no university library that I know of has access to. If you have access to it, please download it and link to it. Did you even read the paper yourself?

    I very much doubt the papers in that journal are peer-reviewed, unless "peer" means deluded idiot.

    Besides, McIntosh is a YEC, meaning he is a nutcase, just like you.

    ReplyDelete
  106. BA77 said:

    Dr McIntosh published his paper in a very obscure journal that no university library that I know of has access to.


    Typical evolutionist. Your cowardly, disingenuous ilk won't allow scientists who disagree with the darwinian MYTH to be published in the mainstream 'scientific' journals, and then you use the fact they didn't publish in said journals as evidence AGAINST them.

    Only an evolutionist would find that 'rational.'

    ReplyDelete
  107. Edward, and now Troy, you did not answer my question for observational evidence for the generation of a molecular machine by evolutionary processes but only attacked "the man" once again. Now I know this is new for you as to produce actual observational evidence and not attack the character of a man behind his back, while he is not here to defend himself, but like I said before I don't care if the people who claim evolution is impossible are cross-dressing NFL football players, all I care about is you falsifying their claims about the impossibility of Darwinian Evolution by producing some direct observational evidence of evolutionary processes producing a molecular machine,,, such as this machine,,,

    Bacterial Flagellum - A Sheer Wonder Of Intelligent Design - video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3994630

    Michael Behe on Falsifying Intelligent Design - video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8jXXJN4o_A

    Genetic analysis of coordinate flagellar and type III - Scott Minnich and Stephen Meyer
    Molecular machines display a key signature or hallmark of design, namely, irreducible complexity. In all irreducibly complex systems in which the cause of the system is known by experience or observation, intelligent design or engineering played a role the origin of the system.
    http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/filesDB-download.php?id=389

    Biologist Howard Berg at Harvard calls the Bacterial Flagellum

    “the most efficient machine in the universe."

    If you don't like the flagellum machine, you may choose from any of these:

    Articles and Videos on Molecular Motors
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AYmaSrBPNEmGZGM4ejY3d3pfMzlkNjYydmRkZw&hl=en

    The Cell as a Collection of Protein Machines
    "We have always underestimated cells. Undoubtedly we still do today,,, Indeed, the entire cell can be viewed as a factory that contains an elaborate network of interlocking assembly lines, each which is composed of a set of large protein machines."
    Bruce Alberts: Former President, National Academy of Sciences;
    http://www.imbb.forth.gr/people/aeconomou/documents/Alberts98.pdf

    etc... etc.. etc...

    ReplyDelete
  108. Once again Edward and Troy here is the core claim of McIntosh,,,

    "It has often been asserted that the logical entropy of a non-isolated system could reduce, and thereby new information could occur at the expense of increasing entropy elsewhere, and without the involvement of intelligence. In this paper, we have sought to refute this claim on the basis that this is not a sufficient condition to achieve a rise in local order. One always needs a machine in place to make use of an influx of new energy and a new machine inevitably involves the systematic raising of free energies for such machines to work. Intelligence is a pre-requisite."

    So Edward and Troy, Can you falsify this claim with direct observational evidence of evolutionary processes producing a machine?

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  109. boringagain77:

    "So Edward and Troy, Can you falsify this claim with direct observational evidence of evolutionary processes producing a machine?"

    Why don't you back up the claim first? What is the core of McIntosh' argument? Show us the equations.

    ReplyDelete
  110. Come on, ba77, this is your chance to prove evolution wrong. How does McIntosh define "intelligence" in his paper?

    You didn't read the paper, did you?

    ReplyDelete
  111. ba77 quoting McIntosh:

    It has often been asserted that the logical entropy of a non-isolated system could reduce, and thereby new information could occur at the expense of increasing entropy elsewhere, and without the involvement of intelligence. In this paper, we have sought to refute this claim on the basis that this is not a sufficient condition to achieve a rise in local order. One always needs a machine in place to make use of an influx of new energy and a new machine inevitably involves the systematic raising of free energies for such machines to work. Intelligence is a pre-requisite.

    This, in a nutshell, is the history of this particular creationist claim. First, they make a negative claim based on the 2nd law of thermodynamics. When it is pointed out to them that there is a gigantic loophole in their argument (living systems are open, not closed), they say sure, but nothing can happen in an open system anyway. Now they are making a positive claim (an intelligence must always be involved) but they have no way of proving that.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Neal Tedford: The kind of change we observe does not support common descent.

    Observed rates of microevolution are far faster than are needed to explain macroevolution. Thus lineage histories consist of microevolutionary bursts separated by periods of relative stability (punctuated equilibria, which is supported by the fossil record and was espoused by Darwin in the Origin, though not under that name). Contrary to creationist wisdom, transitional populations indicative of microevolution have been documented where the sedimentary and fossil records are relatively compliant (geologically young mollusks and microfossils). So we know that observed evolution can support common descent. We know that divergence from common descent actually did occur because of the mountains of evidence supporting it that are not well explained by special creation. Theobald's list remains the best free online single source; you can fix his boo-boo by replacing "cusped teeth" with "tribosphenic molar teeth." If you find a fish with tribosphenic molars, you will want to contact Nature. There are errors in the Bible too (e.g. bats listed as birds in Leviticus); does that invalidate all of it's arguments?

    Neal: If domestic dogs were extinct, evolutionists would probably identify them as several different species. 


    Not a chance, Neal. Domestication has left its mark on our best friend; even introductory-level general education college students can distinguish the skull of a wild canid from that of a domestic dog.

    Domestic dog extinction would also have been sufficiently recent to support DNA extraction, and we would know what we do today: dogs (including Native American breeds and dingoes) are domesticated populations of Asian gray wolves.

    Now what modern creationists would make of extinct dogs is another matter. Prior to Darwin's time creationists included the world's leading anatomists and paleontologists. Today, creationists don't seem to be able to distinguish a marsupial thylacine from a placental wolf.

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  113. Zachriel: 1) Do you understand and accept that the nested hierarchy is an objective biological pattern (across many taxa of interest)?

    Cornelius Hunter: Your wording is ambiguous. The nested hierarchy is a model--an objective model--that defines a biological pattern. If that is what you meant, then yes, I agree.

    The empirical data objectively supports the nested hierarchy, just as the empirical data supports the inverse square law of gravity. Please respond if we are in agreement.

    Zachriel: 2) Do you understand that descent with modification along uncrossed lines leads to a nested hierarchy (with a few caveats)?

    Cornelius Hunter: Actually descent with modification can lead to all kinds of patterns depending on *how* the descent with modification occurs. Given cladogenesis and anagenesis, drift and selection, parallel and convergent evolution, extinction, variable rates of evolution, etc, evolution can, and does, explain all kinds of patterns.

    Variable rates only matter if we reach saturation. Convergence is the only other caveat that would present a problem for reconstituting a nested hierarchy based on character traits. Do you disagree?

    Let's start with something even simpler. If we posit uncrossed descent, then grouping by ancestry, we have a hierarchical pattern of nested sets — by necessity.

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  114. Troy, I take it that you cannot produce one instance of evolutionary processes producing even one molecular machine. Since I see no example of observational evidence forthcoming from you, or anyone else, my question to you then is simple, since the poverty of evolutionary biology is to such an extent that it cannot produce even one observed example of the generation of such functional complexity as to produce a molecular machine, of which there should be thousands upon thousands in the literature, that is if evolution were indeed "a fact" as it adherents adamantly, and vehemently, claim it is, then why in the world do you not you yourself question the theory upon which you are so defensive about as to relentless belittle those who question it? i.e. Why do you defend a theory with such shallow back stabbing rhetoric and not with observational evidence of the generation of molecular machines by evolutionary processes? Why do you defend a theory which in reality should mean nothing to you one way or the other?

    ReplyDelete
  115. ba77, you brought up the McIntosh paper as evidence against evolution, yet when asked about details of the paper, you refuse to comply and go off on a tangent about what theories should "mean" to people.

    Got it. You didn't read the paper. You were lying. Par for the course.

    ReplyDelete
  116. Neal Tedford: Evolutionists claim that dozens of phyla can arise in a geological blink of an eye. The Cambrian Explosion, for example. All your claims of genetic drift and mutation rates are totally unfounded and unsupported by the fossil record of this geological age (and others as well).

    These lineages are high-level splits (phyla) only with the hindsight of taxonomists working hundreds of millions of years later. Within Animalia, 550 million years of divergence is a long time indeed. Paleontologists have shown that Stephen Jay Gould was conceptually wrong on a major point in Wonderful Life: morphological disparity is far greater today in the modern ocean than in the Cambrian Burgess Shale. And the arthropod sister group Anomalocaridida is morphologically far closer to early arthropods (such as Fuxianhuia) than Cambrian Haikouella is to modern humans (both in phylum Chordata). None of the Linnaean levels travels across time very well. Origins of numerous "phyla" that long ago is not a conceptual problem for evolution.

    ReplyDelete
  117. troy,

    Funny that I know more about this stuff than you do...

    Also funny is that you cannot produce a testable hypothesis for your position....

    ReplyDelete
  118. thortard:
    ToE has also been subjected to the most rigorous of testing in the last 150 years and passed with flying colors.

    Too bad there aren't any rigorous tests for universal common descent.

    All "evidence" for UCD can be used to support alterantive scenarios such as common design and convergence.

    And evidence for UCD is not evidence for any mecahnism.

    And you cannot produce a testable hypothesis for your position's proposed mechanisms of blind, undirected chemical processes.

    ReplyDelete
  119. Zachriel:
    If we posit uncrossed descent, then grouping by ancestry, we have a hierarchical pattern of nested sets — by necessity.

    You keep saying that as if just saying it makes it so.

    Why is it that you cannot produce a valid reference to support your claims?

    Why is it that you ignore the valid references which refute your stupidity?

    ReplyDelete
  120. It is not just the flagellum that is irreducibly complex. So is every other intracellular organelle. There is no evidence that any intracellular organelle ever "evolved" from a simpler precursor.

    Furthermore, Lynn Margulis' endosymbiosis hypothesis is pure woolgathering, without any experimental support whatsoever. Incidentally, Margulis blocked my email when I challenged her directly, the same shabby trick Wesley Elsberry has employed. She sure has little confidence in her own hypothesis. Elsberry, like Myers, has never published a word on the subject of the cause of phylogeny. Neither has Dawkins. Dawkins just thinks he has. They all start with the premise that the cause of phylogeny is already known - Darwin's precious Natural Selection. Leo Berg correctly identified the role of Natural Selection in 1922 -

    "The struggle for existence and natural selection are not progressive agencies, but being, on the contrary, conservative, maintain the standard."
    Nomogenesis, page 406

    There is NOTHING in the Darwinian paradigm that can do anything more than produce intraspecific varieties or subspecies none of which are incipient species exactly as Goldschmidt claimed 70 years ago. Without mentioning Berg who had independently reached the same conclusion -

    "Subspecies are actually, therefore, neither incipient species nor models for the origin of species. They are more or less diversified blind alleys within the species. The decisive step in evolution, the first step toward macroevolution, the step from one species to another, requires another evolutionary method than the sheer accumulation of micromutations."
    The Material Basis of Evolution, page 183. This summary to the first half of his book is in italics for emphasis.

    The Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis, with the Universal Genome Hypothesis, provides "another evolutionary method," one which remains in full accord with all of molecular biology as well as the undeniable testimony of the fossil record.

    Atheist inspired Darwinism is the most persistent example of mass hysteria in the history of science. It should have been abandoned in Darwin's own century at the same time that another myth, the Ether, also failed the test of experimental verification.

    It is hard to believe isn't it? Not at all. It is a matter of record.

    Now go right ahead and pretend that this message also never appeared here. That suits me just fine. The important point is that I have left my footprint here as I have elsewhere.

    "You can lead a man to the Truth but you cannot make him comprehend it."
    after the horse who refused to drink.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  121. Joe, time to come up with a new mantra. The "hypothesis for your position" mantra has over a thousand Google hits now, apparently (from a haphazard sample of about 20) all written by you or your alter-egos on various creationist sites. Not a single other person has apparently used that phrase and left a trace on the internet.

    How goes that saying on insanity and doing the same thing over and over again?

    ReplyDelete
  122. troy,

    It is very telling that not one evotard has been able to produce that testable hypothesis.

    Insanity is insisting your position has support but being unable to produce it in the form of a testable hypothesis...

    ReplyDelete
  123. To Dr Davison,

    Even though we do not see eye-to-eye I really do appreciate your comments and the way the evotards try not to respond to you.

    They will never deal with someone as knowledgeable as you are.

    And I love it so!!!

    ReplyDelete
  124. troy:
    How goes that saying on insanity and doing the same thing over and over again?

    Apply that "logic" to Zachriel who has only repeated- and never supported- the claim:

    If we posit uncrossed descent, then grouping by ancestry, we have a hierarchical pattern of nested sets — by necessity.

    ReplyDelete
  125. LOL! Another good morning at the Tard Farm.

    JoeTard shows up, spouting his same old tired catch phrases and whoring his blog.

    The deluded kook C&Ps more from his previous kookiness.

    Joe kisses the kook's posterior in an effort to show 'solidarity'.

    You're right JoeTard - it doesn't get any funnier that this!

    ReplyDelete
  126. Thortard chimes in with its usual meaningless evotardgasm.

    You are right thortard- it doesn't get any funnier than watching you evotards run around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to support their fantasy with equivocations...

    ReplyDelete
  127. I would like to but Cornelius has banished me.

    ReplyDelete
  128. BA:

    I found MacIntosh's arguments elsewhere:
    McIntosh, A.C. " Functional Information and Entropy in living systems" is online.

    "In an open system, energy (such as from the sun) may increase the local temperature difference (and thus increase the potential for useful work that can be done locally), but without a machine (that is, a device which is made or programmed to use the available energy), there is still no possibility of the self-organisation of matter.

    Of course, this is a howler. Dehydration requires no 'machine' to order matter in crystallization or dehydration reactions. Membranes and peptides spontaneously form. And that is the crux of his argument. And why is it that creationists can't seem to understand life and the earth are not closed systems?

    "So Edward and Troy, Can you falsify this claim with direct observational evidence of evolutionary processes producing a machine?"

    Recombination created new signaling pathways and phenotypes in this study:

    Rapid diversification of cell signaling phenotypes by modular domain recombination.
    Science. 2010 Apr 16;328(5976):368-72.

    Just for fun:
    Functional proteins from a random-sequence library
    Nature 410, 715-718 (5 April 2001)

    ReplyDelete
  129. Well, I see he has unbanished me. All I wanted to do was to thank Joe G for supporting me, only to discover that I was expected to "sign in," a process I was unable to achieve.

    Any how, thanks again Joe G and don't worry about not always agreeing with me. I don't always agree with me. The important thing is that we share a common contempt for the most persistent hoax in the history of science. It will soon be buried and its many supporters will fade into oblivion as nothing but trivial little footnotes in the book of Truth and Knowlegdge.

    It is interesting that the word evolution derives from the Latin "evolvo" meaning to unfold, like the pages of a book.

    jadavison.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  130. I don't see how declaring organisms open systems help get around the problem of entropy. Open system, I undertand means that energy is added from outside. But adding energy increase entropy unless the enrgy os added ina very controlled way. This is the whole point of machines. Btu machinwes are made by clever people. Organisms also have very complex mechanisms for controlling energy flow. Organisms are constantly fighting entropy with complex mechanisms also.

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  131. Recrystallization is the result of the loss of energy in the system.

    ReplyDelete
  132. RobertC,

    Where did those random libraries come from?

    And one protein is not a machine.

    You need several proteins connected together for that.

    IOW once agin you respond to something by not responding to it.

    Go figure...

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  133. Actually it derives from the Latin noun "evolutio". "Evolvo" is "I unroll", from the verb "evolvere".

    Can't even get that right, eh Dave?

    ReplyDelete
  134. natschuster wrote: I don't see how declaring organisms open systems help get around the problem of entropy. Open system, I undertand means that energy is added from outside. But adding energy increase entropy unless the enrgy os added ina very controlled way.

    An open system is one that exchanges energy with the environment via work and heat. It consumes the same amount of energy as it dissipates, unless it stores energy in fat or burns fat to subsidize a low calorie intake.

    ReplyDelete
  135. Word Origin & History

    evolution

    1640s, "an opening of what was rolled up," from L. evolutionem "unrolling of a book," noun of action from evolvere

    ReplyDelete
  136. As I read through the posts on this thread, I am again reminded of what William Dembski said in the forward to Reclaiming Science from Darwinism.

    [T]here is no rational connection between the mountains of evidence cited by Darwinists and the grand claim they make that all organisms are descended from a universal common ancestor via a purposeless material process (which they understand as the interplay of natural selection and random variation). Because no such rational connection exists, evolutionary theory, in its grand macroevolutionary Darwinian form, flies in the face of the scientific method. It should not be taught except as a discredited speculative hypothesis that properly belongs to nature religions and mystery cults—not to science.

    If you disagree with Dembski, then all you need to do is show how it is rational to conclude from the evidence that “evolution is a fact”. In other words explain how the fossil record, common ancestry, and genetic similarities (and whatever other evidence you wish to cite) logically and rationally leads to the conclusion that the putative mechanism of evolution (natural selection acting on random variation) can explain the complexity and diversity of life.

    Apparently no one can do that. If someone could, he or she would have done it already, and we wouldn’t be going through this endless cycle of “Show me the evidence” followed by the same evidence offered over and over as demonstration of the “fact of evolution.”

    ReplyDelete
  137. Doublee,

    Forget evolution. There are people here, on this blog, who deny the fact that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In their opinion, scientists have not demonstrated even that convincingly. What can you do with people like that? Only laugh.

    ReplyDelete
  138. oleg,

    As I have told you several times now- in order to determine the age of the earth we have to know how it was formed.

    And the people to laugh at are the people who think the earth and us are the result of multiple accidents- people like you, a pontificating intellectual coward.

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  139. oleg:
    There are people here, on this blog, who deny the fact that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old.

    You must have a different definition for the word "fact" than the rest of the world...

    ReplyDelete
  140. Different definition for the word "fact", and different and mysterious definition for nested hierarchies

    ReplyDelete
  141. Oleg:

    But the flo0w has to be controlledinorder for it to be constantly the same. Organisms have complex mechanisms for maintaining the flow close enough to equilibrium.

    ReplyDelete
  142. It is odd, but not infrequent, that so many intelligent people can support a lie (i.e. evolution). Lots of explanations exist as to why group-think takes over and renders intelligent people into kool-aid drinking party-line supporters. Look at all the hype about global warming and how many people fell for that hogwash. Was it because the evidence (temperature data) was inaccurate? Was it because too many think that the end justifies the means (even dishonest ones)?

    Are evolutionists irrationally fearful of allowing for design that they feel that the end (materialism) justifies dishonest means?


    I'm not saying that all evolutionists are dishonest, but I certainly am saying that there are evolutionists who are not being straightforward about what the evidence is actually showing. There's lots of money and careers involved and that is a hard thing to sacrifice for most people. Also, the field is sufficiently divided into specialities that each assumes that the others have the solid evidence for it even if theirs is mostly speculative. As someone has already said, evolution is a study in illogical thinking and false arguments.


    Design theory is like a wrongly convicted criminal banished to the prisons of science by wrong judgment... while the real crook is free. Like the wrongly convicted criminal whose DNA is tested and finally vindicated, so design theory will be vindicated when the full impact of the information age is brought to bear on the DNA of life.

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  143. Joe G: oleg,

    As I have told you several times now- in order to determine the age of the earth we have to know how it was formed.


    Apparently, you don't know how the Earth was formed. Why would that imply that nobody else does either? There are multiple lines of evidence that lead to the conclusion that the Earth solidified from a melt. If you are one of those people who says "well nobody was around to see it," then you will guarantee personal immunity to the evidence.

    ReplyDelete
  144. I would like to define evolution as stuff that makes Sean Hannity and Baby Jesus cry.

    Anything bad that an 'evolutionist' does is because of thier subscription to 'evolution' and the fact that my jello definition is unique to me shouldn't stop me pretending it's common parlance.

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  145. Joe,

    There are simple ways in which you can estimate the age of our world. If you don't try you won't learn.

    Take the Moon, for instance. By using laser beams bouncing off reflectors installed on the Moon, scientists have determined that it is receding from the Earth at a rate of 3.8 cm a year (an effect caused by tidal friction). Knowing the current radius of the Moon orbit, 384,000 km, you can estimate when the Earth and the Moon were much closer:
    384,000,000 m divided by 0.038 m/yr gives 10 billion years. While this linear extrapolation does not give a very precise result (tidal friction was stronger when the Moon was closer), it does give the right order of magnitude. 10 billion years is the order of magnitude that is in agreement with the giant-impact hypothesis.

    ReplyDelete
  146. Or take the Sun. The solar power output is 4x10^26 watts. Fusing 1 kg of hydrogen into helium yields 2x10^13 joules of energy. Therefore sun "burns" 2x10^13 kilograms of hydrogen a second. With its mass of 2x10^30 kilograms, the Sun has a life cycle of roughly 10^17 seconds, or 3 billion years.

    Again, this is a back-of-the-envelope estimate. More precise calculations give the sun life span of 10 billion years or so. From the Sun's helium content we can estimate that the star is in the middle of its life cycle, so its age is measured in billions of years. You don't need to do very sophisticated calculations to see that. Simple order-of-magnitude estimates show that.

    Don't pretend that the age of the solar system is such a difficult question. Mundane things around us tell us volumes about the age.

    ReplyDelete
  147. Doublee said...

    If you disagree with Dembski, then all you need to do is show how it is rational to conclude from the evidence that “evolution is a fact”. In other words explain how the fossil record, common ancestry, and genetic similarities (and whatever other evidence you wish to cite) logically and rationally leads to the conclusion that the putative mechanism of evolution (natural selection acting on random variation) can explain the complexity and diversity of life.

    Apparently no one can do that. If someone could, he or she would have done it already, and we wouldn’t be going through this endless cycle of “Show me the evidence” followed by the same evidence offered over and over as demonstration of the “fact of evolution.”


    It's been done to the satisfaction of well over 99.5% of all scientific professionals in the fields related to evolutionary biology.

    The only reason the extremely small minority continues to cover their eyes and go "LA LA LA I DON'T SEE ANY EVIDENCE!" is their religious fundamentalism beliefs.

    That you willfully ignorant mooks keep going “Show me the evidence” doesn't matter to science at all, unless you try to dishonestly sneak your religious views into public science classes. Then you'll get slapped down hard like you did in Kitzmiller v. Dover.

    ReplyDelete
  148. Neal Tedford said...

    Design theory is like a wrongly convicted criminal banished to the prisons of science by wrong judgment... while the real crook is free. Like the wrongly convicted criminal whose DNA is tested and finally vindicated, so design theory will be vindicated when the full impact of the information age is brought to bear on the DNA of life.


    Actually Design "theory" is like the fat guy in the bar watching pro sports on TV and bragging to his friend how he could do better than those professional athletes. Then, when some professionals get wind of his bragging and invite him to a tryout where he actually has to compete and produce to back up his bluster, the fat braggart always finds some lame excuse to be somewhere else.

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  149. Thorton,

    In what world are you living in where the playing field is level between evolution and ID? Evolutionary theories have failed to support common descent, but evolutionists are too entrenched in money, career and superstition to move fully forward into the information age and embrace a better theory that accounts for the origin of genetic information.

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  150. "Evolutionary theories have failed to support common descent"

    Really?

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section1.html

    ReplyDelete
  151. Neal
    Evolutionary theories have failed to support common descent

    What do you say about the clear evidence for the evolution of Homo sapiens from chimpanzees? Is the number of chromosomes in human as compared to all other members of Hominidae not significant evidence? All Hominidae with the exception of humans have 24 pairs of chromosomes. Humans have only 23 pairs. Human chromosome 2 is widely accepted to be a result of an end-to-end fusion of two ancestral chromosomes?

    Easily explained by "evolutionary theories", not so much by ID.

    Or what about the cytochrome c molecule? It has been extensively studied for the glimpse it gives into evolutionary biology. Both chicken and turkeys have identical sequence homology (amino acid for amino acid), as do pigs, cows and sheep. Both humans and chimpanzees share the identical molecule, while rhesus monkeys share all but one of the amino acids, the 66th amino acid is isoleucine in the former and threonine in the latter.

    Does ID explain that better then "Darwinism" then? If so, what's the explanation for that specific data?

    ReplyDelete
  152. Pastor Neal:

    "evolutionists are too entrenched in money, career and superstition to move fully forward into the information age and embrace a better theory that accounts for the origin of genetic information."

    What hubris to lecture people on a subject you are ignorant.

    Natural selection weeds out genetic variants that are least adapted to their environment. Let's take the example of a fur-color gene causing bears to have white fur. In a non-white environment this gene will be selected against and therefore remain at low frequency (a very small fraction of the population has it due to mutation), while in a white environment the gene will be selected for and reach high frequency. Selection has therefore moved information about the environment into the gene pool: if you give me the DNA sequence of the fur-color gene of a bear, I will be able to predict accurately in what environment that bear lives: if it's the gene for white fur, the bear most likely lives in a white environment. Thus, I can extract information from a gene sequence, thanks to selection ensuring a correlation between genes and environments. Without selection, the sequence would contain no information about the environment's color.

    This argument (which can be developed mathematically based on Price' covariance calculus, but you wouldn't be able to understand) shows that selection creates genetic information. Well, I think it does. if you disagree, tell me where it goes wrong.

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  153. " Well, I think it does. if you disagree, tell me where it goes wrong. "

    Erm, the fall & Jesus? 0_o

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  154. Joe performs the creationist dodge-when presented with the evidence he requested, he just redefines some words...

    "And one protein is not a machine.

    You need several proteins connected together for that."

    Really? In my mind, a machine is a device that uses energy to perform some activity. Actin, for example is a single protein that polymerizes and can generate force and propulsion. But this is the sillyness that results whey you take an analogy, and equate it with reality. If we define minimal sufficient units, the smallest machine is a whole cell, I suppose.

    And the reference describes formation of whole pathways (not single protein) by randomizing input.

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  155. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  156. One question for OM concerning supposed common descent: what is the direct ancestor of homo sapiens?

    Also, genetic similarity is just as easily accounted for by the same Designer using a similar design plan. It IS A BETTER explanation, however, for CONVERGENCE than evolution's serendipity stories that stretch seams of sanity.

    Troy,

    Polar bears are leucistic. No new information needed.

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  157. Rich, what do you know for sure about the evidence from talk origins?

    ReplyDelete
  158. Neal Tedford said...

    T: "Actually Design "theory" is like the fat guy in the bar watching pro sports on TV and bragging to his friend how he could do better than those professional athletes. Then, when some professionals get wind of his bragging and invite him to a tryout where he actually has to compete and produce to back up his bluster, the fat braggart always finds some lame excuse to be somewhere else."

    In what world are you living in where the playing field is level between evolution and ID? Evolutionary theories have failed to support common descent, but evolutionists are too entrenched in money, career and superstition to move fully forward into the information age and embrace a better theory that accounts for the origin of genetic information.


    Says the scientifically illiterate fat guy who's never been within a half mile of a real science lab in his life as he watches scientists make discovery after discovery using ToE as a paradigm.

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  159. Neal:

    "Polar bears are leucistic. No new information needed"

    Sigh. Then what is your definition of information?

    You could also try to see that my argument generalizes to any gene that affects fitness, but I'm quite sure you won't.

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  160. "Rich, what do you know for sure about the evidence from talk origins?"

    You can test it for yourslf given the right equipment and education. Because its all real-world stuff.

    You might want to consult this:

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_wuSqJG5bIKE/S_U4g_9jyFI/AAAAAAAAAdw/F7EoGfZhWvA/s1600/Explanatory+Virtues+and+Theism.108.png

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  161. Cornelius Hunter responded when I asked:

    [me:]
    ===
    What is there about the diatom evidence that makes it convincing to you when similar evidence for the mere 59,000 species of chordates does not convince you that they have a common ancestor?
    ===

    [Cornelius:]
    ===========================
    There is no comparison between these diatom adaptations and the large-scale change evolution requires. Evolutionists like to pose the following false dichotomy: "Either species are completely unable to adapt, or else evolution is a fact." I put the word "evolution" in quotes above, as you did as well, because what the fossils reveal is adaptive change. Evolutionists mislead people by saying that since adaptive change produced modest changes then therefore evolution is a fact.
    ===========================

    (I suspect that if we were diatoms instead of chordates we might not find diatom differences “modest”).

    But in any case, whether the differences are or are not “modest” is not the issue. Cornelius accepted the evidence of common descent of the 100,000 species of diatoms. Such evidence uses differences of molecular sequences, and differences of morphology, and draws most of its evidence from small, insignificant differences. They reinforce each other well enough convince both Cornelius and me.

    But similar patterns of (largely insignificant) differences somehow do not persuade Cornelius when the group is chordates. I am asking why. I am not asking whether the differences are Modest or whether they are Big And Exciting. That is totally aside from the issue of whether
    the molecular sequences and the morphology point to common descent. Which they do.

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  162. Neal Tedford said...

    Rich, what do you know for sure about the evidence from talk origins?


    I know for sure that every T.O. article provides multiple references to the primary scientific literature so people can research and study the primary data for themselves if they desire.

    What do you know for sure about Creationist sites like AIG and the Discovery Institute, except that they pander to the scientifically ignorant and tell you what you desperately want to hear?

    Why don't AIG and the DI ever support their claims with primary research?

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  163. Pastor Neal violated the Ninth Commandment:
    "Also, genetic similarity is just as easily accounted for by the same Designer using a similar design plan."

    You are LYING, Pastor Neal. The challenge for you is not to wave your hands about vague similarity, but to explain the DIFFERENCES.

    "It IS A BETTER explanation, however, for CONVERGENCE than evolution's serendipity stories that stretch seams of sanity."

    Explain the differences, then. ALL of them, functionally relevant and irrelevant.

    We both know you won't even try, because we both know that you are lying.

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  164. Cars are designed. They have similarities because of the various constraints forced on the design by engineering manfacturing, and economics. They have differences as well. Some are functional. Some are merely cosmetic. But all cars are designed.

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  165. "If someone could, he or she would have done it already, and we wouldn’t be going through this endless cycle of “Show me the evidence” followed by the same evidence offered over and over as demonstration of the “fact of evolution.”"

    Thus is Poe's law proven once again. This is essentially the argument I made in jest because I thought it was so amazingly ridiculous, made here in all seriousness. "If it was true you should be able to convince me of it. Since you can't convince me, that proves it's not true."

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  166. Neal
    One question for OM concerning supposed common descent: what is the direct ancestor of homo sapiens?

    So nothing in response to the evidence I put forwards.

    Also, genetic similarity is just as easily accounted for by the same Designer using a similar design plan.

    It's also just as easily accounted for by the same Unicorn using a similar design plan.

    Tell me Neal, is there any way we can tell the difference between what could have been designed and what could have evolved? If not, it seems that all your position consists of is where you see "evolution" you just replace it with "design".

    Perhaps it's a coping mechanism.

    It IS A BETTER explanation, however, for CONVERGENCE than evolution's serendipity stories that stretch seams of sanity.

    My legs are exactly the right length to reach the ground! Now, what are the chances of that! I mean, it's to the millimetre!

    Polar bears are leucistic. No new information needed.

    No new information? Can you prove there is *any* information at all in a Polar bear? If so, what is the amount is there and what units are you measuring that "information" in?

    what do you know for sure about the evidence from talk origins?

    What we know for sure is that you can't dispute a single bit of it.

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  167. Neal Tedford:
    One question for OM concerning supposed common descent: what is the direct ancestor of homo sapiens?


    If you are genuinely interested in the answer to that question, I answered it for you here.

    Something tells me that you are not so interested and are fishing for some particular stock answer.

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  168. Thornton: That you willfully ignorant mooks keep going “Show me the evidence” doesn't matter to science at all, unless you try to dishonestly sneak your religious views into public science classes.

    Upon reflection, I should have said show me the reasoning. The evidence is there for everyone to see. I am not trying to convince you of the design argument nor am I trying to sneak religion into the classroom (as if that has anything to do with Dembski's assertion); I am trying to understand the "evolution inference."

    For the record I assume that you are not stupid and I also assume that you are astute enough to understand what Dembski is asserting. So I am puzzled why you avoid answering the question he poses. Again it is not a question of the evidence; it is a question of inferring the mechanism of evolution from the evidence.

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  169. Neal
    Also, genetic similarity is just as easily accounted for by the same Designer using a similar design plan.

    Yes, that's quite true. I'm willing to admit that. But the thing about that is your "designer" just happened to design everything in such a way that it looks exactly as if it evolved.

    I mean, if we look at other designers we know about we can see a type of "evolution". The evolution of the car is a good example.

    But if we chart that evolution we see that it's not what we see in the biological realm at all. For example, the proto-CD player was not a light sensitive patch that over time became the CD player we currently know. It appeared all at once in the car. First there was the 8 track. Then the tape player. Then the CD player. No "evolutionary" path between them. One could not have become the other. And yet we don't see that in evolution at all. If you are interested (which you are not) then check out the evolution of the horse.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_the_horse

    A good example of the links between features found in evolution is the evolution of the jaw and ear. Yanoconodon, a relatively recent find illustrates this perfectly. The proportion of the ear bones is already like those of modern mammals but the reptilian connection to the jaw is retained.

    If your designer is using common design it's limited itself quite exactly to what evolution could also have done. So what's the difference between the two? I say potato, you say "duhhhh".

    Or give me an example of something that you claim could not have evolved.

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  170. DD,

    I am trying to understand the "evolution inference."

    There's plenty of material out there. Start with this perhaps

    http://richarddawkins.net/articles/4217

    It's an extract from Chapter One of The Greatest Show on Earth, as good a summary as you'll find anywhere I think.

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  171. Doublee said...

    Upon reflection, I should have said show me the reasoning. The evidence is there for everyone to see. I am not trying to convince you of the design argument nor am I trying to sneak religion into the classroom (as if that has anything to do with Dembski's assertion); I am trying to understand the "evolution inference."

    For the record I assume that you are not stupid and I also assume that you are astute enough to understand what Dembski is asserting. So I am puzzled why you avoid answering the question he poses. Again it is not a question of the evidence; it is a question of inferring the mechanism of evolution from the evidence.


    Darwin inferred the mechanism of evolution (differential reproductive success with the passing on of heritable traits by the survivors) from direct observation. Modern science has identified the mechanism (genetics and DNA) for the heritable traits. The process of genetic variation filtered by selection has been verified hundreds of times over in the wild, in the lab, in computer modeling.

    Every last piece of positive evidence shows the mechanisms involve purely natural material processes, and there is zero evidence that anything other than natural materialistic forces were involved.

    To everyone except religious driven fanatics like Dembski that is a perfectly fine 'rational connection'. So what's the problem?

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  172. Nat wrote:
    "Cars are designed. They have similarities because of the various constraints forced on the design by engineering manfacturing, and economics. They have differences as well. Some are functional. Some are merely cosmetic. But all cars are designed."

    Yes, Nat, cars are designed, but they don't fit into a SINGLE nested hierarchy that is SUPERIMPOSABLE on the SINGLE nested hierarchy that fits EACH of their component parts, INDEPENDENTLY DERIVED.

    IOW, parts are mixed and matched in designed objects.

    Can you get this basic concept into your head? I doubt it.

    There's a reason why the IDC movement lies and describes a constraining nested hierarchy, fitting both whole organisms and their components, as nothing more than "similarity."

    The truth will set you free, Nat.

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  173. troy:

    ===
    ____, I hadn't thought of that.
    ===

    Please cut the language. (and no, masking asterisks don't get a free pass).

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  174. Parts are mixed and matched in organisms as well. The fact that all organisms use DNA, RNA, and proteins in similar ways is sited as proof of common ancestry.

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  175. Ok Cornelius, apologies for the foul language. Would it be acceptable to write "[expletive]"?

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  176. Nat wrote:
    "Parts are mixed and matched in organisms as well."

    No, they aren't. Evolution is incredibly constraining.

    Your straw man isn't even worth commenting upon. Get this through your head, Nat: responding to questions about nested hierarchies by trying to claim that they represent mere similarity is LYING.

    Dr. Hunter,
    I'm curious as to why Joe G's profanities are allowed to be posted.

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  177. Smokey:

    That was my point. Maybe I don't understand what you mean by mix and match. Vehicles have similarities, like they all need engines, and they have differences, cars are not SUV's. Same thing with organisms. They all have DNA, RNA, use some mechanism to make ATP, etc. But they also show differences at different levels.

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  178. Nat wrote:
    "Maybe I don't understand what you mean by mix and match."

    Maybe you should hold off on conclusions until you do!

    "Vehicles have similarities, like they all need engines, and they have differences, cars are not SUV's."

    Yes, but some cars and some SUVs have identical engines. Some have identical lug nuts. Or the same model car can be fitted with different engines from entirely different manufacturers.

    "Same thing with organisms."

    No, Nat, you do NOT find the same thing. You don't find the identical gene/protein in distantly-related organisms. You don't find very different proteins in closely-related organisms. Common descent has those constraints. An intelligent designer has none. She can pick and choose whatever she wants, or she could put the same parts in different organisms.

    "They all have DNA, RNA, use some mechanism to make ATP, etc. But they also show differences at different levels."

    That's why I'm pointing out that the DIFFERENCES form a nested hierarchy. Why don't you learn what that means and come back when you're ready to discuss this in an informed manner?

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  179. natschuster said...

    That was my point. Maybe I don't understand what you mean by mix and match. Vehicles have similarities, like they all need engines, and they have differences, cars are not SUV's. Same thing with organisms. They all have DNA, RNA, use some mechanism to make ATP, etc. But they also show differences at different levels.


    Here's a very important point Nat:

    When making nested hierarchies of things like cars or animal species, there are proven mathematical techniques to accurately determine the 'best fit' tree for the given data.

    With manufactured items like cars, then are any number of equally weighted nested hierarchies you can make. You can sort them by engine size, or color, or length, and all the trees would come out equally probable. However, if your samples truly did evolve through common descent, then there will be one phylogenetic tree that will be much more likely that the rest. That tree is said to have maximum parsimony.

    Phylogenetic Primer

    Well guess what - when such analysis is done of morphological variation from the fossil record we do indeed get one nested hierarchy that's way more likely than the rest.

    Then the kicker. When we do a similar analysis based solely on genetic data not only do we get one nested hierarchy that's way way more likely than the rest, we get the same phylogenetic tree as given by the fossil record to an amazing level of agreement, better than one part in 10e38.

    To scientists that independent confirmation is overwhelming evidence that common descent is the correct story of how life evolved on Earth.

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  180. Nat,

    What Smokey means by mix and match (as he described above while I was putting this comment together) is that with autos, you could for example literally pull the engine out of an old Porsche and put it in a VW bug (version 1.0), and drive around in a "hybrid". Or, likewise you could, as an engineer, admire the floormat styling of a '95 Fiero and incorporate a direct change to the same type of floormat in your brand new line for '11 without taking years and years going through intermediate steps.

    In eukaryotes, apart from their endosymbiotic origins and occasional retroviral insertions at the genetic level, this sort of "mix and match" is almost unheard of (but nature is always willing to provide exceptions, see sacoglossans).

    In other words, contrary to the conceptions of some 21st century nonscientists, the platypus is not made of spare parts laying around in Yahweh's garage left over from the assembly of other animals. It's bill is like a duck's only in shape; it's a mammalian jaw with molar teeth in early ontogeny and a leathery sheath (which is a trait shared with its monotreme sister group, the echindnas). It lays eggs because it is an amniote, and this is the primitive mode of reproduction for amniotes. The tarsal hindspur (venomous in male platypi, non-venemous in females and in echidnas) is a primitive mammalian trait seen in many Mesozoic lineages, including some that are more closely related to ourselves than platypi are.

    The hair and mammary glands of the platypus are not just "similar" to those of humans and horses. They are homologous traits derived from common mammalian ancestry. A family resemblance, as Zachriel put it.

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  181. Neal: If domestic dogs were extinct, evolutionists would probably identify them as several different species.

    Domestic dogs, as I believe you are referring to them, haven't evolved. Therefore evolutionists have nothing to say about this.

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  182. nonsense said...

    Neal: If domestic dogs were extinct, evolutionists would probably identify them as several different species.

    Domestic dogs, as I believe you are referring to them, haven't evolved. Therefore evolutionists have nothing to say about this.


    That's funny, because there's a lot of published evidence that says different.

    Genome sequence, comparative analysis and haplotype structure of the domestic dog
    Nature 438, 803-819 (8 December 2005)

    Abstract: Here we report a high-quality draft genome sequence of the domestic dog (Canis familiaris), together with a dense map of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across breeds. The dog is of particular interest because it provides important evolutionary information and because existing breeds show great phenotypic diversity for morphological, physiological and behavioural traits. We use sequence comparison with the primate and rodent lineages to shed light on the structure and evolution of genomes and genes. Notably, the majority of the most highly conserved non-coding sequences in mammalian genomes are clustered near a small subset of genes with important roles in development. Analysis of SNPs reveals long-range haplotypes across the entire dog genome, and defines the nature of genetic diversity within and across breeds. The current SNP map now makes it possible for genome-wide association studies to identify genes responsible for diseases and traits, with important consequences for human and companion animal health.

    It's free access, why don't you read the paper and tell me what the researchers got wrong. "Liar for Jesus" Tedford won't.

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  183. A modest proposal on the definition of evolution

    A wise person once said "there are no good or bad definitions, just useful and useless ones" or something to that effect.

    I have to agree with Cornelius Hunter on no less than three points:
    1. Much confusion results from different individuals having different personal definitions of evolution.
    2. This is compounded when single individuals appear to be changing definitions.
    3. The minimalist textbook definition of evolution, although perhaps acceptable when scientists communicate with other scientists, is pretty useless for the purpose of communicating with nonscientists/ID/creationists.

    Problems with "Temporal change in heritable traits over many generations in a population"
    a. Evolution affects all life simultaneously, which is not "a population"
    b. As Cornelius noted, evolution explains the origin of species; speciation/divergence must be included.
    c. To the man on the street, evolution is common descent, especially the descent of humans from nonhumans.
    d. Significant change in heritable traits can occur in a single generation (recall the frozen songbird study that CH cited a while back); there's no need to wait for "many generations" especially when "many" is left undefined.

    Of course, CH then added his own definition, which is far more inappropriate than Larry Moran's:
    For evolutionists this word refers to the idea that all the species arose via natural laws. God did not use miracles to create the biological world, instead everything arose by the play of the natural processes and laws we observe.

    To see how useless this is, note:
    a. no mention of populations, genetics or heritable traits, speciation, common descent, or time
    b. explicit mention of God, presumably Yahweh (substitute "Zeus" or "the Easter Bunny" and reread, since all have equal standing in 21st century science)
    c. while ostensibly aiming for evolution, CH hits naturalism instead; evolution is not synonymous with naturalism and is also not synonymous with atheism/materialism; yes, like all modern science, biology is methodologically naturalistic

    So a more useful definition of evolution might be:
    (1) changes in the heritable traits over time in populations that (2) diversified through speciation (lineage splitting) from (3) a common ancestry of living organisms.


    Evolutionary biology starts with LUCA. OOL is a related topic of interest to most evolutionists and nonevolutionists as well, but it's not the same thing.

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  184. So, Richard Dawkins is an evolutionist, a naturalist, and an atheist.

    Ken Miller is an evolutionist and naturalist, but not an atheist.

    Michael Behe is an evolutionist, but not a naturalist (we might call him an interventionist).

    As assessed from his written words, Cornelius Hunter is a creationist (despite protests to the contrary). He states that common descent is improbable; therefore separate origins of species (special creation) must be probable. Thus, a creationist.

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  185. nanschuster: Maybe I don't understand what you mean by mix and match. Vehicles have similarities, like they all need engines, and they have differences, cars are not SUV's. Same thing with organisms.

    A tree forms a nested hierarchy when we group by branch and stem. What that means is that if we cut any branch, it severs from the trunk the branch and every stem and twig on that branch. Compare that to a web. If we cut an arbitary thread, the web usually remains largely intact. This is because there are multiple paths to the ultimate support.

    Consider uncrossed descent. If we group by ancestry, it forms a tree-like pattern. Each child has one-and-only-one ancestor, though each parent can have more than one child.

    Now, consider a single trait that changes somewhere in that tree of descent, say it changes from WHITE to BLUE. Every descendent of that ancestor will be BLUE. Let's say another trait changes somewhere down that lineage, say from SHORT to LONG. If we examine all the twigs, some will be SHORT and WHITE, others will be SHORT and BLUE, still others will be LONG and BLUE. But if you find a LONG twig, it will be BLUE. That's because it inherited the BLUE trait along with its LONG trait. It's an objective, observable correlation.

    SHORT-WHITE
    ǀ
    SHORT-WHITE, SHORT-BLUE
    ǀ
    SHORT-WHITE, SHORT-BLUE, LONG-BLUE

    This is an abstraction (and in biology, it's more complicated), but do you understand the basic mathematical pattern involved?

    This pattern, the nested hierarchy, is strongly supported across many taxa. It is a wonderful pattern, but like the complex and grand movements of planets across the sky, it has a simple and testable explanation.

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  186. But aren't there lots of exceptions? There are genes that are consistant across taxa? That's when they bring in deep homology.

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  187. Nat,

    Deep homology is not an exception, but part of the rule. When a gene is found across numerous, diverse taxa, that means it arose eons ago, when those diverse lineages had a common ancestor. The only exceptions are horizontal gene transfer, which is substantial in bacteria but extremely rare in eukaryotes, where the nested hierarchy attains.

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  188. So sometimes they are the same, sometimes they are different? I guess it comes down to a stochastic sort of thing.

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  189. oleg:
    There are simple ways in which you can estimate the age of our world. If you don't try you won't learn.

    We need to know soemthing abouyt HOW the Earth was formed oleg.

    If we ASSUME it was just via cosmic collisions- all accidental- even your methodology of rad decay is faulty because old materials could/ would have been used.


    Take the Moon, for instance. By using laser beams bouncing off reflectors installed on the Moon, scientists have determined that it is receding from the Earth at a rate of 3.8 cm a year (an effect caused by tidal friction). Knowing the current radius of the Moon orbit, 384,000 km, you can estimate when the Earth and the Moon were much closer:
    384,000,000 m divided by 0.038 m/yr gives 10 billion years. While this linear extrapolation does not give a very precise result (tidal friction was stronger when the Moon was closer), it does give the right order of magnitude. 10 billion years is the order of magnitude that is in agreement with the giant-impact hypothesis.


    There is a final, even more bizarre twist. Because of Moon-induced tides, the Moon is gradually receding from Earth at 3.82 centimeters per year. In ten million years will seem noticeably smaller. At the same time, the Sun’s apparent girth has been swelling by six centimeters per year for ages, as is normal in stellar evolution. These two processes, working together, should end total solar eclipses in about 250 million years, a mere 5 percent of the age of the Earth. This relatively small window of opportunity also happens to coincide with the existence of intelligent life. Put another way, the most habitable place in the Solar System yields the best view of solar eclipses just when observers can best appreciate them.”- The Privileged Planet"

    Also I don't think you math is correct.

    See here

    And be sure to attack the author not the data. LoL!!!

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  190. Zachriel:
    A tree forms a nested hierarchy when we group by branch and stem.

    No it does not.

    And it is very telling that you cannot provide a valid reference to support you claims.

    IOW Zachriel- you are a liar.

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  191. I love the way evotards talk about nested hierarchies but never, under any circumstances, do they support their claims with valid references.

    And not one has even demonstrated an understanding of what a nested hierarchy is.

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  192. natschuster: But aren't there lots of exceptions? There are genes that are consistant across taxa? That's when they bring in deep homology.

    John answered you question about deep homology, which just refers to those traits with ancient ancestry. But if you want to understand why biologists nearly universally support the Theory of Evolution, it's important you grasp the basic concept. The nested hierarchy is one of the most important patterns in biology, and is pervasive across many taxa. This is an empirical observation, and is *independent* of theory.

    Even the exceptions can be instructive. When genomes were first sequenced, it was noticed that there were anomalies, snippets of viruses in genomes of multicellular organisms. Turns out that viruses can infect the DNA of germ cells and become part of the genome. So what would we expect, if a virus infected a common ancestor? That each descendent would inherit a copy of the retrovirus, and that mutations to the retrovirus would themselves form a nested hierarchy. And that is what we observe.

    Darwin didn't know a thing about retroviruses, or molecular genetics, for that matter. But, in effect, Darwin's Theory predicts a nested hierarchy of retroviruses.

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  193. Zachriel:
    The nested hierarchy is one of the most important patterns in biology,

    A pattern totally unexpected by the theory of evolution.

    But, in effect, Darwin's Theory predicts a nested hierarchy of retroviruses.

    No it did not.

    And the ERV argument (for common ancestry) has been refuted by the scientific data.

    Go figure...

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  194. Knox, E. "The use of hierarchies as organizational models in systematics"; Biological Journal of the Linnean Society (1998), 63: 1–49.


    Regardless of what is eventually learned about the evolution of Clarkia/Heterogaura, the complex nature of evolutionary processes yields patterns that are more complex than can be represented by the simple hierarchical models of either monophyletic systematization or Linnaean classification.

    and

    Cladistic analysis of descent is conducted within one such monistic framework. It is important to understand the scope and limitations imposed by that framework, and to preserve its integrity by not applying it to questions that it is incapable of handling. Cladistic analysis has demonstrable capability, but its monistic framework provides an insufficient basis for representing evolution.

    Ooops a peer-reviewed paper says that Zachriel's claim is false!

    DARWIN SAID:
    Extinction has only defined the groups: it has by no means made them; for if every form which has ever lived on this earth were suddenly to reappear, though it would be quite impossible to give definitions by which each group could be distinguished, still a natural classification, or at least a natural arrangement, would be possible. (bold added)

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  195. Thornton: Darwin inferred the mechanism of evolution (differential reproductive success with the passing on of heritable traits by the survivors) from direct observation.

    Excellent! We are part way to the complete answer. But notice that Dembski said:

    Because no such rational connection exists, evolutionary theory, in its grand macroevolutionary Darwinian form, flies in the face of the scientific method.

    This is the real point of contention, and it is the question that Dr. Hunter is, in effect, asking. Can the mechanism of microevolution be extrapolated to explain the mechanism of macroevolution?

    It seems to me, just from casual observation, that the structural problems that need to be solved by macroevolution are orders of magnitude different from the adaptational problems that microevolution has been observed to solve.

    Merely asserting that microevolution can be extrapolated to explain macroevolution is a faith statment; a serious analysis needs to be undertaken to at least outline the scope of the problem that needs to be solved to change, for example, a land mammal into a whale.

    Viewed from an engineering perspective, many new biological subsystems have to be created, and many new parts have to be created and interfaced with each other. In many instances, it seems that many new parts would have to be created simultaneously. The most difficult constraint of all is that each change must result in a functional animal, and more importantly from the Darwinian perspective, each change must provide a selective advantage.

    In the real engineering world, such an engineering project would require a top-down approach, with much coordination of effort, and complicated planning to make sure the right parts arrive at the right time.

    If you read any religious motivation into this response, I can't help you. I would hope that you would see genuine skepticism that arises from the problems that I have outlined above.

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  196. Doublee: Merely asserting that microevolution can be extrapolated to explain macroevolution is a faith statment; a serious analysis needs to be undertaken to at least outline the scope of the problem that needs to be solved to change, for example, a land mammal into a whale.

    You have to start with Common Descent so that you understand the historical transformations involved. Granting that, then we look at various transitions to see if they occurred in an incremental and selectable fashion, consistent with theories of evolutionary change. And with regards to many taxa, this is well-supported, and leads to testable predictions.

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  197. Doublee said...

    This is the real point of contention, and it is the question that Dr. Hunter is, in effect, asking. Can the mechanism of microevolution be extrapolated to explain the mechanism of macroevolution?


    Yes, they can. There is no evidence of any magic barrier or any technical reason that would prevent small 'micro' changes from accumulating over time into larger 'macro' ones. It's the exact same mechanisms of genetic variation filtered by selection just operating over a longer time scale.

    Merely asserting that microevolution can be extrapolated to explain macroevolution is a faith statment; a serious analysis needs to be undertaken to at least outline the scope of the problem that needs to be solved to change, for example, a land mammal into a whale.

    Such analysis has been done hundreds of times over. Again, all the evidence points to a slow gradual accumulation of small changes, and there is no evidence such small changes cannot accumulate.

    Viewed from an engineering perspective, many new biological subsystems have to be created, and many new parts have to be created and interfaced with each other. In many instances, it seems that many new parts would have to be created simultaneously.

    Evolution of various features happens in parallel. When a leg evolved first to a flipper then to a fin, each separate part (muscles, blood vessels, skeletal structure) didn't change separately. Each successive generation had a appendage that was maybe 0.1% more fin-like than its predecessors, with all the associated minor changes happening at the same time.

    When a person is born who is taller than his parents, is it magic because all of his parts (muscles, bones, blood vessels, etc.) are slightly bigger at the same time than the previous generation?

    The most difficult constraint of all is that each change must result in a functional animal, and more importantly from the Darwinian perspective, each change must provide a selective advantage.

    By definition each generation was 'functional' or it wouldn't live to reproduce. Each change doesn't have to provide an immediate selective advantage though - the large majority of mutations are neutral and get carried along for free, where they provide useful raw material for future changes.

    In the real engineering world, such an engineering project would require a top-down approach, with much coordination of effort, and complicated planning to make sure the right parts arrive at the right time.

    The real natural world is not a human engineering world. Nature doesn't work the way humans do, so to project human processes onto nature will not give you a valid picture of what's really happening.

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